Sarkozy thanks Russia, but urges faster troop withdrawal
French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Saturday said Russian troops must leave the important Black Sea port of Poti, even as he thanked his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev for keeping his commitment on the withdrawal of troops from Georgia, the dpa reported.The two heads of state discussed over telephone the importance of fully implementing the six-point ceasefire brokered by France, which currently holds the European Union presidency.
They also discussed the need to set up an international mechanism under the auspices of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe to replace Russian patrols in the breakaway region of South Ossetia, a statement from Elysee Palace said.
South Ossetia and Abkhazia are opposed to an international peacekeeping force, currently being discussed by the EU.
Russian forces have retreated from the central Georgian city Gori, but continued to control access to Poti and other cities in western Georgia and Abkhazia.