Georgian Officials Hail Russia Plan For Early Base Pullout

GEORGIAN OFFICIALS HAIL RUSSIA PLAN FOR EARLY BASE PULLOUT

RIA Novosti
21:49 | 19/ 09/ 2006

TBILISI, September 19 (RIA Novosti) – Georgia’s Defense Ministry
voiced its approval Tuesday for Russia’s decision to complete an
ahead-of-schedule withdrawal of its two Soviet-era military bases in
the Caucasus country, as a train carrying the last batch of hardware
from one of the bases left Georgia.

Under an agreement signed by Russia and Georgia on March 31, Russian
troops and military hardware are to leave the bases in the southern
city of Akhalkalaki and the western city of Batumi by 2008.

General Andrei Popov, Russia’s chief military commander in the South
Caucasus, said a total of 727 units of hardware and 2626.6 metric
tons of arms, ammunition, and general equipment had left Georgia for
bases in Russia and Armenia since the beginning of this year.

"The 2006 plan for the withdrawal of Russian bases from Georgia can
be considered 100% implemented," Popov said.

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