RUSSIA COMPLETES MILITARY HARDWARE WITHDRAWAL FROM GEORGIA
Dec 14 2006
The last train carrying military hardware and property owned by
units of the Group of Russian Troops in the Transcaucasia that are
being withdrawn from the Tbilisi garrison has left for Armenia, the
group’s deputy commander Col. Vladimir Kuparadze told the Interfax
news agency on Thursday.
"The engineering equipment, communications vehicles and other property
will be deployed on the premises of Russia’s 102nd military base in
the Armenian town of Gyumri," he said.
"Servicemen who arranged the departure of trains with property from
Tbilisi are to leave for Russia’s 12th military base in Batumi on
December 15. The operational group that replaced the command center
of the Group of Russian Troops in the Transcaucasia headquarters will
go there as well," he said.
An agreement on pulling Russian forces out of two bases which both
were scheduled to be fully closed by October 2008 was reached by
Russia and Georgia last year.
Russian Defense Ministry decision to withdraw troops from Georgia ahead
of schedule followed the rapid worsening of Russian-Georgian relations,
as Tbilisi accused Moscow of supporting separatists, and Moscow feared
Georgia was moving further out of its shadow toward the West.