Georgia: Attacks continuing despite Russia halt claim – CNN.com

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday that he had ordered an end to military operations against Georgia, but Tbilisi reported more attacks after the statement was made.

Medvedev’s announcement came minutes before French President Nicolas Sarkozy was to land in Moscow to negotiate terms for a possible cease-fire.

“I have reached a decision to halt the operation to force the Georgian authorities to peace,” Medvedev said. “The aggressor has been punished and has incurred very significant losses. Its armed forces are disorganized.”

“The statement on the halt of the military action by Russia is the news we had expected. It’s good news,” Sarkozy said later, according to an Interfax report.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was also involved the talks.

Medvedev’s decision would end five days of fighting that began in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia. Watch Georgia’s reaction to halt in fighting »

The Georgian government claimed that despite Medvedev’s announcement, Russian warplanes struck two villages and military forces bombed an ambulance outside the breakaway province of South Ossetia.

Buried deeper in the story:

An Georgian Interior Ministry official added that Russian bombs hit one of the three pipelines carrying oil to the Black Sea port of Poti. There was no oil in the pipeline at the time, the ministry official said.

UK-based engery giant BP later said it had shut down two oil pipelines in the region as a “precautionary measure” linked to the security situation.

A precautionary measure to … oh … raise oil prices again? This, like all wars, is about control of resources; just as much here as it is in the Middle East. This time, it’s Russia wanting control of oil that is currently under the control of a pro-American government in Georgia.

I think the Russian government is also trying to show that the nation is still a force to be reckoned with in international affairs. Over the past few years, the focus has definitely been more on China’s rise as a global political and economic power, and the Olympics brings that spotlight even closer to Russia’s neighbor to the south.