In the first “open sign” of a promised Russian troop withdrawal, EU monitors have been allowed to observe the dismantling of a Russian security zone checkpoint near South Ossetia.
Russia has pledged to pull back all its troops by October 10, from buffer zones established at the end of the five-day war between Russia and Georgia in August.
The EU deployed an observer mission of more than 200 unarmed monitors at the beginning of October to oversee the Russian withdrawal from the security zones around the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Today’s dismantling operation took place in the village of Nabakhtevi in the Ali region of Georgia, north west of the town of Gori.
The October 10 deadline was set under a French brokered ceasefire.
In August, clashes between pro-Moscow separatists and Georgian troops escalated into war when Georgia sent in army units to retake South Ossetia.
Russian forces then drove the Georgian army out of South Ossetia and pushed on into Georgia saying it was a preventative measure to deter further attacks.