Beginning of the Working Meeting with Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov 2008-09-09 19:23:49 Gorki, Moscow Region President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: On Monday, together with the President of France, we developed additional measures to the conflict resolution plan, including the withdrawal of our troops from the security zones and the deployment of international observers. The more observers there are [in areas adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia] the better this will be. I hope that this will, at the very least, stop the Georgian military regime from committing stupid acts. Therefore, I am instructing you to monitor the situation and implement those agreements that were reached yesterday. Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov: I have already given instructions. Dmitry Medvedev: Good. And the second question we must discuss: according to my decree on the recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as subjects of international law — and pending the conclusion of a treaty on friendship, cooperation and military assistance — Russian Armed Forces will perform the function of maintaining peace in the territory of these republics at their request. In the near future, today, we will establish diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And activities related to signing treaties (first initialing, then signing) are already underway. In this regard, we need to decide how, at the request of South Ossetian and Abkhazian leadership, we organise the presence of the Russian Armed Forces, and how we deploy our military bases. I know that you have conducted negotiations with the ministries of defence of the two republics. Please report on your suggestions. Anatoly Serdyukov: Indeed, in light of our agreements with the ministries of defence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia we met and agreed on how the contingent will be deployed there. And in South Ossetia and Abkhazia the contingent will be around 3 800 people. We have identified the composition of these troops and their location. In South Ossetia they will be located in Java and Tskhinvali, and in Abkhazia for now they will operate from the places where the peacekeepers were deployed, and in the future we will further specify the places where they will be based. In other words, we are already engaged in this work, and there already is an understanding concerning how and where our troops will be deployed. Dmitry Medvedev: Good. Then continue with this work, and after the signing of these treaties we must immediately make final decisions on the modalities of the presence of the Russian Armed Forces on the territory of the two republics at their request. Thank you.