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  Wednesday, February 19, 2020
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The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, will visit Georgia
The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, will visit Georgia on Tuesday to discuss an EU monitoring mission in the country's conflict zones, the Georgian parliament speaker said on Monday.

"Our task is to deploy European peacekeepers in the conflict zones. As is known, Russia is opposed to this," David Bakradze said.

Solana is to meet with President Mikheil Saakashvili and visit a South Ossetian refugee camp in the city of Gori.

A senior EU official was quoted by Reuters as saying on Monday that an EU mission to monitor the ceasefire in Georgia had been fully deployed and met Russian forces to discuss their pullback from positions deep inside the Caucasus state.

He said more than 300 European Union staff -- civilian monitors and support - were on the ground, and had begun deploying to field offices in western and central Georgia.

Moscow launched a five-day operation to "force Georgia to accept peace" after Tbilisi attacked South Ossetia on August 8 in an attempt to regain control over the republic, which split from Georgia in the early 1990s. A number of Russian peacekeepers and a reported 1,600 South Ossetian residents lost their lives during the Georgian attack.

Russia's response to the Georgian attack was labeled "disproportionate" by a number of Western powers. On August 26, Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgian republic, as independent states. So far, only Nicaragua has followed suit.


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