World News

Russia ready for Georgia buffer pullout

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MEIENDORF CASTLE, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday Russia would pull out from buffer zones around South Ossetia if an international force is in place and there is a guarantee Georgia refrains from using force again.

“Russia has received from the countries of the European Union, and France which is chairman of the European Union, a guarantee of the non-use of force by Georgia,” said Medvedev after meeting French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Medvedev said there was an agreement in principle to deploy a 200-strong EU monitoring contingent after he met Sarkozy and an EU delegation at his official residence outside Moscow to discuss the fallout of the Georgia conflict.

Reporting by Francois Murphy and Oleg Shchedrov; Writing by Conor Sweeney