MOSCOW, August 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday that his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy played a "big role in solving the Georgian-South Ossetian crisis," the Kremlin press service said in a statement.
As Russia marked the anniversary of the start of hostilities between Georgia and Russia in the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia on August 8, Medvedev said in a message to the French leader that the August 12 ceasefire agreement, brokered by Sarkozy, remains the only "code of conduct" in force in the Caucasus region.
"France's participation as EU president in our efforts to stop [Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili's uncontrolled aggression was effective and achieved results," the statement said.
Some 162 civilians and 67 Russian service personnel, including peacekeepers, were killed when Georgia attacked the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia last August. Russia reacted swiftly expelling Georgian troops from South Ossetia and forcing them deep into Georgia amid accusations on both sides of human right abuses.
Medvedev also praised the role of the EU's 200-strong mission, which has been deployed along the Georgia border since last October, to observe the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.
"We value the European Union's implementation of the agreement and on the whole are happy with the work of the EU monitoring mission in Georgia," the Russian head of state said.
Following the war and Russia's subsequent recognition of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another former Georgian republic, Tbilisi severed diplomatic ties with Moscow and declared both republics "occupied territories."
The statement also touched upon the new "geopolitical situation" in the region as a result of Saakashvili's policies. The main task Medvedev said was ensuring peace and safety in the Caucasus.
"In line with the bilateral agreement, signed between us and the sovereign republics, everything possible will be done to provide stability in the region and the consistent defense of the civilian population," the statement reads.
Some 800 Russian troops are currently deployed in South Ossetia as part of a bilateral security agreement between Tskhinvali and Moscow.
Russia has repeatedly called for Georgia to sign a non-use of force pact which Moscow claims would avoid a repeat of last summer's tragedy.
"The documents should contain clear guarantees for the security of the South Ossetian and Abkhazian peoples," the statement said.