Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside Georgia's Black Sea port
of Poti, demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces from the city.
chanted "Russians Go Home" to protest checkpoints set up by Russian
troops in armored personnel carriers. No direct confrontation was
Moscow says it has fulfilled terms of a
French-brokered peace deal with Tbilisi. But, in addition to Poti,
Russian troops continue to patrol some key areas outside the so-called
"security zones" where Russia claims it has the right to station troops
Those areas include the aviation base at Senaki and parts of a major highway connecting Tbilisi with the Black Sea coast.
General Anatoly Nogovitsyn said Saturday the continued presence of
Russian troops deep in Georgian territory is not breaking the
cease-fire that Moscow and Tbilisi signed earlier this month. He said
Georgia's special services are preparing further military action in
South Ossetia, and the Russian troops are in key positions to ensure
Nogovitsyn also objected to an increased presence of NATO
ships in the Black Sea. He said Russia could increase the size of its
force in Georgia if the United States begins to help Georgia rebuild
NATO on Friday said its Black Sea deployment was
planned long before the outbreak of the Gergian conflict, and that the
ships are there for routine exercises.
The U.S. military said
the USS McFaul, which arrived in the Black Sea on Friday from Greece,
is carrying humanitarian aid for Georgia. Another U.S. ship is to
A Polish frigate also entered the Black Sea late Friday.
Tbilisi Saturday, Georgian lawmakers voted unanimously to extend
emergency wartime powers for President Mikheil Saakashvili for another
The Georgian military move into South Ossetia earlier
this month triggered a massive Russian response, with Moscow sending
scores of tanks and thousands of troops into Georgia.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.