Diplomate: Talks With Russia On Monitors Collapse

A convoy of Russian troops drives towards the Abkhazian border as they leave the Georgian army base of Senaki, western Georgia, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008. Russia started to withdraw its forces from Georgia on Friday, promising that the pull out will be accomplished in a day, but Russian troops started to dig new positions around the Black Sea port of Poti, which is 32 km (20 miles) south of Abkhazia and lies well outside the security zone, where Russian peacekeeping forces are allowed to stay on Georgian soil. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
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VIENNA, Austria - A senior Western diplomat says talks with Russia have collapsed on the sensitive issue of sending additional international monitors to two breakaway regions.

The official told The Associated Press that Moscow refused to approve 80 extra military monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to keep tabs on South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The official says the decision has thrown into question the sincerity of Russia's pledge to withdraw its troops from key areas of Georgia later this month.

The diplomat, who has been involved in the negotiations, said Russia staked out an increasingly "hard-line" stance. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details with reporters.