Russia officially notified the European Union (EU) that it had completed the withdrawal of its peacekeepers from buffer zones bordering Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
"The Russian permanent mission to the EU in Brussels has handed a note to the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, confirming the full withdrawal of Russian peacekeeping forces from zones adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia," the ministry was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
Russian troops had been stationed on Georgian territories since the end of a five-day conflict, which broke out after Georgia launched a sudden attack against South Ossetia on Aug. 8 to retake the region. Russia sent in troops the next day and defeated the Georgian forces.
Under a French-brokered ceasefire pact, Russia agreed to pull out its troops from undisputed parts of Georgia by Oct. 10, leaving them in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which Moscow recognized as independent states on Aug. 26.
EU observers were deployed in Georgia on Oct. 1 in preparation for the handover.