AVIGNON, France (Reuters) - The European Union agreed on Saturday to send “an autonomous mission” to Georgia to monitor Russia’s withdrawal from territory occupied during last month’s war over South Ossetia, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said.
He accused Moscow of failing to respect several points in a French-brokered plan that put an end to the fighting and said French President Nicolas Sarkozy and EU officials would demand on Monday that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stick to his commitments.
“Let him first respect his own signature. Of the six points, only two or let’s say two-and-a-half, perhaps three, have been implemented,” Kouchner told a news conference after a two-day informal meeting of EU foreign ministers.
EU observers to ensure that Russia withdrew to the lines it held on August 7 before fighting erupted would initially join an existing monitoring force of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
“We expressed our support for the deployment of an autonomous ESDP (European Security and Defence Policy) mission as part of the OSCE presence in the first instance,” he said.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said details of the deployment of European monitors remained to be worked out.
reporting by Francois Murphy, writing by Paul Taylor