EUMM witnesses withdrawal of Russian troops

Posted in Europe , Asia | 09-Oct-08 | Source: European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM)

A column of Russian troops prepares to leave the checkpoint at a bridge over the Inguri River in Western Georgia October 8, 2008.

On 8 October, the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) witnessed the withdrawal of Russian troops from a great number of checkpoints in the adjacent areas both to South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The Head of Mission, Ambassador Hansjörg Haber, said during a visit to the Zugdidi field office:

“I have been at the Iguri bridge to verify the withdrawal with my own eyes. There are reports from our monitors that checkpoints have been lifted throughout the adjacent areas. This is a very positive development.

According to the information EUMM has at this moment, Russia seems to have completed most of the withdrawal. However, EUMM observers are still on the ground to verify.”

With the Russian withdrawal, responsibility for the enforcement of law and order in the adjacent areas falls to the Georgian authorities.

We will also monitor the movement of Georgian law enforcement agencies which will ensure security on the ground and allow people to resume normal everyday life,” explained Ambassador Haber.

According to Ambassador Haber, the Russian withdrawal is only the first part of EUMM's work in Georgia.

“Our work will now be centered around confidence building on the two sides of the administrative boundary,” added Ambassador Haber.



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