Moscow says pullout from Georgian buffer zone to start Wednesday

Other News Materials 7 October 2008 17:55 (UTC +04:00)

Russia's military said Tuesday that its pullout from the buffer zone around Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia would get underway on Wednesday.

In a report by the Interfax agency, Russian forces commanding General Marat Kulakhmetov said the withdrawal would be completed within 24 hours, reported dpa.

"During the first half of the day tomorrow we will start with the planned withdrawal of our peacekeeping soldiers from all six observation posts," he said.

The comment comes amid reports by the European Union observer misssion in Georgia that there were clear signs of the Russian pullout.

Under the Georgia ceasefire agreement, Russia is committed to a complete pullout of its troops from the security zones around South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Friday, October 10.

After that date, the EU mission is to enter the zones.

The Russian withdrawal by October 10 would precede the peace conference set for October 15 in Geneva when the broader issue of Georgia's long-term security is to be debated.