Europe's top security organization says talks with Russia on sending
more monitors to Georgia have broken down over disagreements about
observer access to South Ossetia.
A statement Thursday from the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, says talks
on expanding its presence in the Georgian breakaway territory are at an
impasse. The statement says there is no point in continuing
negotiations at this time.
The OSCE deployed 20 monitors near
South Ossetia and another breakaway territory, Abkhazia, last month,
immediately after Russia's five-day military sweep into Georgian
territory. Negotiators in the now-stalled talks were trying to reach a
deal on the deployment of 80 more observers.
Despite strong protests from the West, Russia has formally recognized both breakaway territories as independent states.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told parliament Thursday that
Western governments should withdraw their unqualified support for
Lavrov repeated his country's position that Georgia
started hostilities early last month, when Georgian President Mikheil
Saakashvili ordered troops into South Ossetia in a push to regain
control of the territory.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.