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Greece Seeks to Keep European Monitors in Georgia

Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, says her country has formulated a new proposal to keep international monitors in Georgia, following a devastating Russian-Georgian military conflict last August. 

Bakoyannis, whose country holds the rotating chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, spoke to reporters at an OSCE meeting in Vienna. The OSCE was forced to begin shutting down its operation in Georgia January first, after Russia refused to extend the existing mandate.

Moscow has accused OSCE monitors of siding with Georgia in the conflict and has used its OSCE veto to end the observer mission.

Details of the Greek proposal have not been released.  But Bakoyannis said the OSCE will spare no efforts to maintain the mission.

Russia invaded Georgia in early August, after Georgian troops attempted to reassert military control over the pro-Russian Georgian breakaway territory of South Ossetia.

Moscow later recognized the region, and a second breakaway territory, Abkhazia, as independent countries. 

The move drew sharp rebuke from Western governments, as well as European threats to impose sanctions on Moscow.  However, no penalties were ever imposed.  

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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