Moscow Submits 2006 Schedule of Military Bases' Withdrawal

Civil Georgia, Georgia
March 18 2006

Georgian Deputy Defense Minister Mamuka Kudava said at a press
conference on March 17 that the Russian side has submitted 2006
timetable and detail plan of withdrawal of military hardware and
equipment from its two military bases in Georgia.

He said that the process of pullout of Russian military bases from
Georgia is still in progress, although the relevant agreement on "Terms
of Temporary Functioning, Rules and Withdrawal of Russian Military
Bases and Other Military Facilities of the Group of Russian Forces in
Trans Caucasus (GRVZ) Stationed on the Territory of Georgia" has not
been signed by the sides yet. The withdrawal process is carried out
under the joint declaration of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
and Georgian ex-Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili signed last May.

A total of 358 items of armament and vehicles will be withdrawn,
including 113 tanks and armored vehicles starting from May 12, 2006.

369 items of armament and vehicles will be transported to the Russian
102nd military base located in Gyumri, Armenia, including 35 tanks
and armored vehicles.

According to the plan, by the end of 2006, all the heavy military
hardware assigned to the Akhalkalaki military base will be completely
withdrawn from Georgia.

The Georgian Defense Ministry the Georgian side is also undertaking
steps to facilitate the withdrawal process. In particular, the issue
of granting visas to the Russian military servicemen and their family
members has been already settled; at the request of the Russian side
cargo loading platform has been built in Tsalka that will facilitate
the withdrawal of military hardware through railway from Akhalkalaki
military base; the Georgian side expressed readiness to assign a
certain number of trucks to assist in withdrawal of heavy military
hardware, according to the Georgian Defense Ministry.

Russia has already pulled out part of its military equipment from
Georgia as envisaged by the May 30, 2005 joint declaration of Foreign
Ministers of the two countries. 40 items of military equipment
(including 20 tanks), dozens of trucks and other vehicles were
withdrawn from the territory of Georgia in August 2005. Military
facilities (including the military shooting range "Gonio", guarded
command point "Zvezda", communication network point number 66 located
in Kojiri) have been transferred to the Ministry of Defence of Georgia.