No S.Ossetia talks before Georgia withdraws-Russia

Sat Aug 9, 2008 10:01am EDT

BRUSSELS Aug 9 (Reuters) - Russia's NATO ambassador said on Saturday talks with Georgia on ending fighting in South Ossetia could only start when Georgian troops ceased fire, and withdrew to the positions they held before the conflict began.

"The first thing needed is to...make the Georgians return to their positions and re-establish the status quo we had before," Dmitry Rogozin told reporters in Brussels.

He said there could be "no consultations" until that precondition had been met. (Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Jon Boyle)