Azerbaijani Defense Minister: Withdrawal of Russian Military Bases from Georgia Puts Caucasus under Threat

Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiev expressed his concern yesterday about Russia's withdrawal of some of its military bases from Georgia into Armenia, at a meeting with Chairperson of the Georgian Parliament Nino Burdjanadze.

As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, Mr Abiev said that the Caucasus region is now under continual threat as a result. 'There are no guarantees that this military technology will not turn up in one of our many 'hot spots',' said the minister. The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia continues over Nagorny Karabakh, a region still under martial law.

Russia withdrew some of its military bases from Georgia a year ago in line with the Istanbul agreement reached at an the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) summit in 1999.

Mr Abiev arrived in Tbilisi on Sunday, December 15, on an official visit. After talks with Georgian Defense Minister David Tevzadze an agreement was signed on future military cooperation between the two countries.

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