Georgian President Saakashvili Signs Cease-fire Agreement

August 15, 2008 Updated: August 15, 2008

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who arrived in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Friday, said at a press conference that after Georgian President’s signing a cease-fire agreement agreement, “all Russian troops… must leave immediately.” Rice said that international observers and monitors were needed on “the scene fast.” I count on Russia’s cooperation…on having these monitors in,” she said.

Rice also said she had been assured that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev would sign an identical agreement.

At the end of her speech, Rice said, “Georgia has been attacked. The world needs to help Georgia maintain its sovereignty, its territorial integrity and its independence.” She also stressed the "profound implications" of Russia's invasion for the whole world.

She also indicated that humanitarian aid is already being provided by the United States and other nations and said that access for these supplies "must be immediate and unimpeded."
In his speech, President of Georgia Michael Saakashvili said, “Never, ever will Georgia reconcile with the occupation of …any piece of our territory.” He emphasized that it was not a final but a cease-fire agreement facilitated by France and the U.S.

President of Georgia said that although Russia has a lot of tanks, “no tank is able to crash the will of free people.” He emotionally continued that this ‘brutal invasion to kill Georgian democracy” would never succeed.

The cease-fire signed by the Georgian leader requires Russia to withdraw its military forces from Georgia but allows Russian peacekeepers to remain in South Ossetia and conduct limited patrols outside the region.

Russia’s actions seem to lead to a restoration of the Cold War in the world, as seen by a Georgian journalist, writer and a former dissident and political prisoner Tengiz Gudava. In 1987, he was released from Perm political camp under the condition of that he would leave the former Soviet Union. He currently works as a consultant in Washington. He regards this conflict as a result of long lasting Kremlin’s insinuations.

“It is obvious,” he said, “that without consolidation of all democratic voices on the territory of the former Soviet Union and democratic forces all over the world, Russia’s threat will grow as a snowball.”

Gudava is sure that from now on, “authoritarianism will be perceived by the world democracies as a real threat. If before, Russia’s intentions were not easy to define even in spite of the killing of Litvinenko and gas extortion in Europe, now the situation on the checkerboard has simplified significantly,” he said.

“Today we are all Georgians,” said Senator John McCain in his speech on the crisis in Georgia.
Russia’s military troops continue to operate deep inside the small independent Caucasus country.