Russian military bases fully withdrawn from Vaziani and Gudauta

The Russian military bases will be fully withdrawn from Vaziani and Gudauta in Georgia, the Russian military establishment said on Friday.

"As Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has said many times, Russia has fulfilled the Istanbul agreements, reached at the OSCE summit meeting in 1999. Actually, it has withdrawn two of the four bases then located in Georgia," said the Defense Ministry.

In pursuance of the Istanbul agreements and within the framework of the adapted Treaty on the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, Russia has reduced by several hundred units the heavy military hardware at the remaining Russian military bases in Batumi and Akhalkalaki.

"Now Russia has only two military bases in Georgia. Eight rounds of base-withdrawal talks have been held with the Georgian side," the defense ministry went on to say.

Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that the negotiations with Georgia on the pullout of the Russian Batumi and Akhalkalaki bases will be continued as soon as the Georgian government has been formed.

The Russian military establishment is perplexed by the declaration of the Georgian Foreign Ministry on the insufficiency of the withdrawal of Russia's bases from Vaziani and Gudauta.

"I say once again what the Russian defense minister and other top officials have said: only two Russian bases remain in Georgia," the Russian defense ministry said.

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