Russian embassy in Georgia denies Moscow sending extra troops to Ajaria
RIA news agency, Moscow
12 Mar 04
The Russian embassy to Georgia has denied Georgian media reports that
an additional contingent of Russian servicemen is being sent to Ajaria
(one of Georgia’s autonomous republics).
“This is a routine rotation which the Georgian leadership, Foreign
Ministry and Defence Ministry were informed of in advance,” the
embassy’s press service told Novosti-Gruziya agency [the Georgian
service of RIA news agency].
A routine replacement of servicemen at the 12th Russian military base
in Ajaria is taking place at the moment, the embassy explained.
According to the diplomatic mission, 78 servicemen from the base at
Gyumri (in Armenia) arrived at the base on 12 March, and another 44
servicemen will arrive there over the next few days. An equivalent
number of servicemen are to leave the base during the
rotation. Altogether 188 servicemen will be replaced during the
rotation, the embassy added.
“All the servicemen arriving at the 12th Russian base in Ajaria have
Georgian visas, the lists with their names have been submitted to the
appropriate Georgian authorities,” the press service stressed.
The embassy recalled that this is not the first time such reports have
appeared in the Georgian media of late. “The embassy asks all
journalists to be precise in their reporting. We are willing to answer
any questions,” was the assurance from the press service.