Last Train Carrying Russian Garrison Property Leaves Georgia

LAST TRAIN CARRYING RUSSIAN GARRISON PROPERTY LEAVES GEORGIA

RIA Novosti, Russia
Dec 14 2006

TBILISI, December 14 (RIA Novosti) – A fourth and final train
transporting equipment and ammunition left Russia’s garrison in
Vaziani, outside the Georgian capital, on Thursday.

Russian military bases are being withdrawn from the post-Soviet
Caucasus state in keeping with Moscow’s commitment to remove them by
the end of 2008.

The remaining hardware will be taken out of the base later in December,
and moved to the 102nd Russian military base in neighboring Armenia.

The Vaziani garrison will be pulled out before the end of the year,
ahead of the earliest of the withdrawal deadlines for Russian forces
in the South Caucasus state, set for 2007. Russia’s defense minister
decided on an early pullout in mid-October, amid a diplomatic feud
between the former Soviet allies.

The Vaziani base had about a hundred items of equipment and 350 metric
tons of ammunition before the first consignment left.

A third trainload left the town on December 1. The garrison’s 387
service personnel will leave once the equipment pullout has been
completed.

Russia and Georgia have been locked in a bitter diplomatic dispute
since September, when four Russian army officers were briefly detained
in Tbilisi, on suspicion of espionage.

The move outraged Moscow, which cut transportation and postal links
with its neighbor in response, deported hundreds of Georgian migrants
and shut down Georgian-run businesses for alleged violations of
Russian law.

Georgia’s Western-leaning leadership, which seeks to join NATO, is
uneasy about Russia’s continued military presence, and has repeatedly
urged Moscow to close its Soviet-era bases.

Under a bilateral agreement signed in March 2006 and ratified by
Russia’s parliament in October, the pullouts from Russian bases in
the southern city of Akhalkalaki and in Batumi, western Georgia, are
to be completed by October 1, 2007, and October 1, 2008, respectively.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS