On Saturday, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed the French-brokered peace treaty already inked by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. However, this is clearly an uneasy and tentative truce: Russian officials say their troops will stay in Georgia for an indefinite time.
The New York Times:
The Russian announcements came a day after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went to Georgia to demand a Russian pullout and win the Georgian president’s support for the revised cease-fire agreement.
But on Saturday, Russian troops remained within 25 miles of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. And overall, the situation in Georgia was largely unchanged, with the Russians occupying wide swaths of territory.
If Russian troops do not begin withdrawing over the weekend, the standoff is likely to touch off more strains between Russia and the United States. Mr. Bush has repeatedly castigated Russia for invading Georgia after intense fighting broke out over a disputed province, South Ossetia, which is an ally of Moscow and wants to secede from Georgia.
The Kremlin has said that Georgia provoked the conflict by sending its troops into South Ossetia, and referred to the Georgia president, Mikheil Saakashvili, as a war criminal. Mr. Saakashvili has contended that Russia is determined to turn Georgia into the kind of vassal state that existed in the region during Soviet times.
It remained an open question on Saturday whether a dispute remained over the interpretation of the precise language of the cease-fire framework.