S. Ossetia, Abkhazia to control troops

MOSCOW, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- South Ossetia and Abkhazia will have a say in the status of Russia's 7,600 troops in the two maverick Georgia states, Russia's prime minister says.

"The issue of (Russian) troops' deployment will be decided bilaterally in compliance with international law," RIA Novosti reported Vladimir Putin as saying at a meeting Saturday with French counterpart Francois Fillon.


Russia recognizes the breakaway Georgian regions as independent countries, signing friendship and cooperation treaties them this week pledging economic and military aid. Nicaragua is the only other country that has bestowed such recognition.

Fillon, meanwhile, said France would deploy 40 monitors in Georgia's "buffer zone" near South Ossetia and Abkhazia as part of the European Union mission of 200 observers, the Russian news agency said.

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