A Georgian Foreign Ministry official says Georgia is to recall all diplomatic staff from its embassy in Moscow because of the Russian military presence in Georgia.

Nato Chikovani says Georgia will withdraw its staff Saturday, following a parliamentary vote in favor of the move on Thursday.

Russian news agencies cite Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nestrenko as criticizing the move, saying it will not benefit bilateral relations.

Georgia is angry at the lingering presence of Russian troops in Georgia despite Russia’s promise to withdraw in accordance with an EU-brokered cease-fire.

A South Ossetian official said today Russia intends to eventually absorb Georgia’s breakaway province of South Ossetia, three days after Moscow recognized the region as independent.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the region’s leader, Eduard Kokoity, discussed the future of South Ossetia earlier this week in Moscow, South Ossetian parliamentary speaker Znaur Gassiyev said.

Russia will absorb South Ossetia “in several years” or earlier, a position was “firmly stated by both leaders,” Gassiyev said.

In Moscow, a Kremlin spokeswoman said today there was “no official information” on the talks.

The vice speaker of Georgia’s parliament, Gigi Tsereteli, said the statement cannot be taken seriously.

“The regimes of Abkhazia and South Ossetia should think about the fact that if they become part of Russia, they will be assimilated and in this way they will disappear,” he said.

Moscow’s recognition Tuesday of South Ossetia and another separatist province, Abkhazia, came on the back of a short war that began Aug. 7, when Georgia launched a military offensive to retake South Ossetia. Russia responded by rolling hundreds of tanks into the Moscow-friendly province and pushed the Georgian army out.

Russia and South Ossetia plan to sign an agreement on the placement of Russian military bases in South Ossetia, the province’s deputy parliamentary speaker Tarzan Kokoiti said. How many bases that involves will become clear on Sept. 2, when the document is set to be signed, he said.

He said South Ossetians have the right to reunite with North Ossetia, which is part of Russia.

“Soon there will be no North or South Ossetia — there will be a united Alania as part of Russia,” Kokoiti said, using another name for Ossetia.