U.S. urges Russia to pull troops stationed in Abkhazia, S. Ossetia behind pre-2008 conflict line - embassy in Tbilisi
TBILISI. Aug 8 (Interfax) - The United States urges Russia to implement the ceasefire agreement of August 12, 2008, and to pull its troops stationed in Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the line that existed before the August 2008 conflict, U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Georgia Elizabeth Rood told the press on Thursday in connection of the 11th anniversary of the conflict.
Besides, Russia should not impede the delivery of humanitarian aid to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Rood said, describing the republics are internationally recognized Georgian territories.
The United States fully supports Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Rood said.
According to the official statistics, 408 Georgians, including 170 army servicemen, 14 police officers, and 224 civilians were killed in the August 2008 conflict.
Georgia tried to take over South Ossetia in the early hours of August 8, 2008. Massive fire of heavy artillery systems and Grad rocket launchers was opened at Tskhinval and other populated localities of South Ossetia.
An offensive began after hours-long attack, and Georgian forces invaded a substantial part of South Ossetian territory. Russia had to interfere to protect its citizens and peacekeepers, and the peace enforcement operation against Georgia was set in motion. The South Ossetian territory was freed, and Georgian troops suffered a defeat near Tskhinval and had to retreat. The hostilities ended on August 12. The presidents of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Georgia, and Russia signed a peace plan in the period from August 14 till 16.
Russia recognized independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 26, 2008.