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Russian peacekeepers to cooperate with OSCE observers in S.Ossetia

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday that Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia were ready for cooperation with observers from the Organization for Co-Operation and Security in Europe.
MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday that Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia were ready for cooperation with observers from the Organization for Co-Operation and Security in Europe.

Lavrov was speaking during a phone conversation with the German vice-chancellor and foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

A statement by the Kremlin press service earlier rejected reports that French President Nicolas Sarkozy had reached an agreement with Russian leaders that OCSE observers would replace Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia. The statement, which Lavrov later reiterated, spoke of instead the cooperation of the peacekeepers with the OCSE observers.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) decided on Tuesday to send 20 unarmed military observers to Georgia's buffer zone near the border with South Ossetia.

The OSCE currently has eight observers in the conflict zone, and plans to raise the number to 100 in mid-August.

Georgia attacked breakaway South Ossetia on August 8. Russia's concluded its operation to "force Georgia to peace" on August 12.

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