Russian troops completed a pullback on Wednesday from buffer zones next to breakaway Georgian regions that it had established during a war between the two countries in August, a Georgian official said. (UPDATED)
"We can confirm that from the so-called buffer zones the withdrawal is complete," Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said.
There was no immediate confirmation from a European Union mission monitoring the pullback from the two zones, which are on Georgian territory adjoining the rebel, pro-Russian areas of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Russia had until Friday to pull back troops from buffer zones outside South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway region, that were established after the war between Russia in Georgia in August.
The Oct. 10 deadline was set under a ceasefire deal brokered by France, which holds the European Union's rotating presidency, after Russian tanks and troops repelled a Georgian offensive to retake South Ossetia from pro-Moscow separatists.
"The war in August followed months of skirmishes between separatists and Georgian troops. Russia drove the Georgian army out of South Ossetia, which threw off Tbilisi's rule in 1991-92. Russian troops then pushed further into Georgia, saying they needed to prevent further Georgian attacks.
The West has condemned Russia for a "disproportionate response" to Georgia's actions and has repeatedly demanded that Moscow pull its troops out of core Georgia.