Russian ceasefire in South Ossetia not at Bush's request: Lavrov

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Moscow, Aug 13 (UNI) Russia today said it did not halt military operation in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia at the request of the US President George W Bush.

''The operation was halted not because President Bush had made a request, but because the goals set by the Russian President had been attained,'' Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference here.

Mr Lavrov said Georgian orders had resulted in ''acts of genocide'' which could not be left unpunished.

He reiterated that the principles of any international discussion of the status of the Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia remained in force, adding that talks on how to ensure the security of these regions had to consider their status.

Mr Lavrov dismissed US criticism of Moscow's role as a peacekeeper in the Caucasus as baseless, saying it should not be doubted.

''This role cannot be doubted, it has been and will be played scrupulously,'' he said.

''On the whole, the world has the correct perception of what is going on,'' he added.

Meanwhile, Russia observed a day of national mourning today in connection with the tragic events in South Ossetia.

UNI XC PD UCS2004

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