Kremlin Signs Truce but Resists Quick Pullout
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/world/europe/17georgia.html?_r=1&th=&oref=slogin&emc=th&pagewanted=all By CLIFFORD J. LEVY and C.J. CHIVERS Published: August 16, 2008
MOSCOW — Russia’s president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, on Saturday signed a revised framework for a deal to halt the fighting in neighboring Georgia, which has stirred some of the deepest divisions between world powers since the cold war. But the Kremlin then indicated that despite the accord’s approval, it would not immediately pull its troops from the country.
The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, told reporters that Russian forces would stay in Georgia as long as they were needed. He said their withdrawal would depend on the introduction of what he called additional security measures. He did not explain what those were.
“The basic agreements do not determine the ceiling for the peacekeeping contingents,” Mr. Lavrov said. “How long it will take, I have already emphasized that it depends not only on us. We are constantly facing problems created by the Georgian side.”
Speaking at his ranch in Texas, President Bush described the Russian endorsement of the cease-fire as a “hopeful step.”
“Now Russia needs to honor the agreement and withdraw its forces, and, of course, end military operations,” Mr. Bush said.