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    Russia to start troops' pullout from Georgia Aug. 18 - Medvedev

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    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday during a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy that Russian troops would start their pullout from Georgia on August 18.

    MOSCOW, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday during a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy that Russian troops would start their pullout from Georgia on August 18.

    Georgia launched a major ground and air offensive to seize control of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia on August 8, prompting Russia to send in tanks and thousands of troops. Russia concluded its operation to force Georgia to accept peace on August 12.

    Medvedev signed on Saturday a French-brokered plan on resolving conflicts in Georgia, aggravated following Tbilisi's assault on its breakaway South Ossetia on August 8.

    The plan contains the main principles to resolve the conflict in South Ossetia, worked out at the August 12 meeting between Medvedev and Sarkozy.

    These are renouncing the use of force, halting all military action, providing free access to humanitarian aid, the return of Georgian Armed Forces to their bases, the return of Russia's Armed Forces to their positions prior to combat and the start of international discussions on the future status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and on ways to ensure their security.

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