POTI, Georgia – Thousands of Georgians demanded that Russian troops leave the outskirts of this strategic Black Sea port on Saturday and took to the streets in protest, while a top Russian general said his country’s forces would keep patrolling the area.
The comments by deputy head of the general staff Col.-Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, reported by Russian news agencies, showed that despite protests from the United States, France and Britain, Russia was confident enough to occupy whatever part of Georgia it deemed necessary.
On Friday, Russia said it had pulled back forces from Georgia in accordance with an EU-brokered cease-fire agreement.
“There are very specific requirements for Russian withdrawal. Putting up permanent facilities and checkpoints are inconsistent with the agreement. We are in contact with the various parties to obtain clarification,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.