Mr Medvedev gave a detailed assessment during the conversation of the situation resulting from the wide-scale aggressive military operations launched by the Georgian leadership and the tragic events in South Ossetia.
The President stressed in particular that the Georgian forces’ barbaric acts have caused the deaths of more than 2,000 civilians, the majority of them Russian citizens, killed and injured Russian peacekeepers, led to more than 30,000 refugees fleeing the region and practically destroyed the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali. The region faces a humanitarian catastrophe. On the political level, Georgia’s aggression has caused the collapse of efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict. Through its acts, the Georgian leadership has essentially caused irreparable damage to the integrity of its own state.
As leader of the country that currently holds the European Union presidency, Mr Sarkozy said that Europe sees its task as being to help bring about a ceasefire in the region as soon as possible and help normalise the situation. Mr Medvedev said that achieving this would require the withdrawal of all Georgian forces from South Ossetia and the signature of a legally binding agreement between Georgian and South Ossetia committing both sides not to use force. The President also said that Georgia would have to undertake these steps without setting prior conditions.
Mr Medvedev and Mr Sarkozy agreed to continue holding constructive consultations and to stay in contact.
France currently holds the presidency of the European Union.