Georgia wants removal of Russian bases, possible US role kept apart

Georgia has no plans at this time to discuss possible replacement of Russian military bases in Georgia by US bases, Acting Georgian President Nino Burdzhanadze said at a briefing today here, a Rosbalt correspondent reported.

'This does not mean, however, that Russia need not fulfill the Istanbul agreements of 1999 in which it agreed to remove two military bases from Georgia,' Burdzhanadze underlined. In addition, she said, Russia must provide documentary verification that it has closed its military base at Gudauta in Abkhazia. Because Georgian jurisdiction does not extend to Abkhazian territory Tbilisi is demanding that international monitors verify the closing of Gudauta.

The briefing took place after a widened meeting between Burdzhanadze and the leadership of the country's uniformed forces and an inspection of the National Management Center, which was built with US aid. The acting president said that, in view of the extremely difficult situation now existing in Georgia, she had asked the National Management Center to coordinate the work of all Georgia's uniformed services.

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