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EU Monitoring Mission In Georgia Prolonged Until December 2018

An EUMM observer watches Russian soldiers construct a fence along Georgia's de facto border with its breakaway region of South Ossetia in 2013.

The European Council (EC) has prolonged the mandate of an EU monitoring mission established after the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia for another two years.

The decision means the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) is now authorized to continue through December 14, 2018.

The EC said on December 12 that it allocated 18 million euros ($19 million) for the period from December 15, 2016 to December 14, 2017.

The EUMM has monitored areas near the lines dividing Georgian government-held territory and land held by Russia-backed separatists in Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The mission started its activities on October 1, 2008, less than two months after the five-day war during which Russian forces drove deep into Georgian territory.

In its December 12 statement, the EC reiterated the European Union's commitment to "fully support Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders."

Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent countries shortly after the war, but only a handful of governments have followed suit.

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