Georgian troops reclaim Gori – Russians stay in Poti

Georgian troops have taken back control of the main road linking the east and west of the country after Russian forces withdrew. But it is a mixed picture elsewhere in the country, and America has strongly criticised the Kremlin for maintaining a Russian presence in Georgia’s heartland.

Georgian forces are also back in control in Gori but Russia says it will maintain permanent checkpoints within Georgian territory to protect breakaway South Ossetia. Tbilisi claims they are already setting up where they have no right to be.

The deputy chief of Russia’s military general staff said they are acting in line with the principles of the ceasefire deal signed by the Russian and French presidents. He also said troops would continue to patrol the strategic port of Poti even though it lies outside the previously defined buffer zone. That could potentially give Russia control over Georgia’s ability to trade.

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