Russian Bases To Be Withdrawn From Georgia Only After Russia Develops Relevant Infrastructure

The only two Russian military bases remaining in Georgian territory -- in Akhalkalaki and Batumi -- "will surely be withdrawn to Russia, but now it is not possible to say when," Colonel-General Alexander Kosovan, Russian deputy defence minister in charge of construction and army logistics, said on Monday. According to him, Russia's position is that "these bases may be withdrawn from Georgia only after corresponding facilities are erected in Russia." The General added that due to "the non-friendly policy pursued by the Georgian leadership towards Russia, Russian-Georgian negotiations on the time of withdrawing the bases in Akhalkalaki and Batumi have been halted and the date of their resumption has not been fixed yet." In this context, Kosovan recalled that, unlike Russian military bases withdrawn from Vaziani and Gudauty in line with Istanbul agreements, the withdrawal of the bases in Akhalkalaki and Batumi is not stipulated by these agreements, and is the subject of exclusively bilateral negotiations between Moscow and Tbilisi."

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