Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says it is up to Georgia's
breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to decide how many
Russian troops can stay in their territories.
agencies Saturday quote the prime minister as saying the decision will
be made based on international law and agreements between Russia and
the regions, which Mr. Putin defined as "countries."
strong protests from the West, Russia has formally recognized both
breakaway territories as independent states, and has established
diplomatic ties with them.
Russia faced international
condemnation for sending troops and tanks into Georgia last month,
after Georgia tried to retake control of the separatist region of South
Western countries have called on Russia to withdraw
nearly all its forces from Georgia under a French-brokered cease-fire
Russia has withdrawn troops from some regions around
South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but Moscow has said it will indefinitely
station 7,600 troops inside those territories.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.