Russia continues to bomb Georgia, EU mediators want ceasefire
Aug 11, 2008, 5:08 GMT
Moscow/Tiblisi, Georgia - Fighting continued overnight to Monday in Tiblisi, despite attempts by western mediators to end the conflict between Georgia and Russia and calling for an immediate ceasefire by all parties.
Two explosions were heard overnight in the capital Tiblisi, according to Georgia's Interior Ministry. Two military bases were also bombarded by Russian fighter planes, though no details were available.
Russian troops were in control of the South Ossetia capital Tskhinval and there were reports of relative calm on Monday after three days of continuous bombings, according to Interfax news agency.
US President George W Bush on Monday said he had taken a 'very firm' line with Russian leaders over the 'unacceptable' violence in Georgia.
'I said this violence is unacceptable - I not only said it to (Russian Prime Minister) Vladimir Putin, I've said it to the president of the country, Dmitry Medvedev,' Bush told US broadcaster NBC when asked about the conflict in Beijing.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, whose nation hold the rotating EU presidency, and Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), met with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Sunday.
The next step would be for all the wounded to be treated during a ceasefire, Kouchner said.
'The third step for a de-escalation would be the withdrawal of all troops on both sides, but a withdrawal accompanied by observers,' he said. This would be followed by a return to political negotiations, said Kouchner, who is to travel to Moscow for talks on Monday.