Next Round Of Georgian-Russian Military Cooperation Talks Due In January

The Georgian and Russian state commissions on military-and-political cooperation are expected to meet for another round of talks in January, 2002. Talks will center on the ongoing effort to execute Istanbul agreements, which envisage reduction of arms and withdrawal of military bases from Georgia. Boris Pastukhov, the head of the State Duma /Russian parliament's lower house/ Committee on Relations with Members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, announced in Tbilisi that Russia had fulfilled all of its commitments under the Istanbul agreements. According to Pastukhov, two bases in Vaziani and Gudauta have already been dismantled, while talks about the remaining two bases in Akhalkalaki and Batumi "are in progress and will continue" until the sides reach a mutually acceptable decision.

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