Lavrov Accuses EU of Twisting Georgia Peace Deal

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused European Union leaders on Wednesday of unscrupulously distorting a Russia-EU deal on the deployment of international cease-fire monitors in Georgia.

Lavrov said French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso signed a document late on Monday in Tbilisi that contradicted a deal sealed earlier that day in Moscow.

The document states that the EU "stands ready to deploy monitors in the whole of Georgian territory."

But Lavrov said the document Russia had signed stated that the cease-fire monitors would only be deployed outside the breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

"It is a completely unscrupulous attempt not to honestly explain to [Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili what commitments the EU had taken on itself and what commitments Russia had undertaken, but to be led on a string by Mr. Saakashvili," Lavrov said.

"For us, what happened in Tbilisi, what was discussed in Tbilisi, has absolutely no significance," he told a news conference. "We have no interest in the pieces of paper which Mr. Saakashvili takes out of his pocket and shows to journalists."

Sarkozy, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, has acted as mediator between Russia and Georgia since a brief war last month in which Russia sent troops and tanks into the territory of its ex-Soviet neighbor.

Russia has said it was morally obliged to act to stop Tbilisi committing "genocide" against the separatist regions, but Moscow's actions have drawn widespread international condemnation.