Russia says OSCE concealed Georgia's military preparations

Other News Materials 21 August 2008 15:36 (UTC +04:00)

Russia's top military gerneral accused the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Thursday of covering up Georgia's military preparation ahead of last week's offensive to re-take its breakaway region of South Ossetia, dpa reported.

"There are doubts over the OSCE's role during the initial stage of the conflict. They were notified by the Georgian side that there would be an invasion, but did not warn Russian peacekeepers," Colonel General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of the Russian army general staff, alleged at briefing in Moscow.

"This fact makes us reconsider our relations ... It is an obligation of the OSCE (to report on troop movements) and they must answer for it," Nogovitsyn added.

International criticism has mounted with each new day that Moscow delays pulling its troops out of Georgian territory in accordance with a ceasefire that ended the 10-day conflict.

The diplomatic mud-slinging this week has threatened to cut Moscow's military cooperation with Western security organizations.

On Wednesday, Russia's military called for OSCE monitors to supervise the withdrawal of its troops, and at Russian checkpoints at key Georgian transport hubs, troops seemed to be waving through OSCE vehicles this week, a Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa reporter said.

But there was little sign Thrusday of a massive pullback of Russia's 58th army ahead of a Friday deadline set for withdrawing troops.