NATO’s Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer hailed a statement by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the completion of a military operation in Georgia as “good news.”

He said NATO headquarters has not received official confirmation of this but it will be good news in any event.

De Hoop Scheffer said, however, it will not be enough to merely observe the promise, as all the parties to conflict must return to the initial positions they occupied August 6, before the start of the conflict.

He said that NATO is not directly involved in settling the conflict around South Ossetia, adding that the leading part in the peace settlement effort must be played by the UN Security Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the European Union.

De Hoop Scheffer said NATO Council fully supports the peace initiatives put forward by France, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency at the moment, and the OSCE.