Russo-Georgian Joint Declaration - Details

Civil Georgia, Georgia
May 30 2005

The Russian and Georgian Foreign Ministries published a joint
declaration, which outlines the process of withdrawal of Russian
military bases from Georgia. It also deals border delimitation and
conflict resolution issues. The Joint Declaration was signed by the
to Ministers - Sergey Lavrov and Salome Zourabichvili, after talks
in Moscow on May 30.

According to the declaration Russia committed itself to putting its
two military bases, in Batumi and Akhalkalaki, into "a pullout regime"
starting from the signing of this declaration. The Russian side pledged
to finish withdrawal process in the course of 2008. The Russian side
has no right to carry out rotation of arms, or equipment during this
pullout process. But has right to rotate solders currently serving
on the bases.

The sides also agreed to launch talks over an agreement, which
should prescribe details of setting up of a joint Russo-Georgian
anti-terrorist center. Part of the personnel and equipment of the
Russian military base currently stationed in Batumi will be used for
setting up of this center.

Pullout of the Military Hardware

Withdrawal of military hardware from the Russian military bases will
be launched in 2005 and at least 40 armored vehicles, including 20
tanks, will be withdrawn before September 1, 2005.

The process of withdrawal of military hardware from Akhalkalaki
military bases should be over by the end of 2006.

The complete withdrawal of military hardware, including from Batumi
military base, should be over by October 1, 2007, "and not later the
end of 2007, taking weather conditions into account."

For the purpose of withdrawal of military hardware the Georgian side
has undertaken to enable the Russian side to deliver necessary spare
parts to the military bases.

Handover of the Military Facilities

The Russian side will hand over to Georgia those military facilities
which are not used by the Group of Russian Troops in Trans-Caucasus
(headquarters in Tbilisi) before September 1, 2005.

The communications relay facility in Kojori and a training ground in
Gonio, Adjara Autonomous Republic will be also handed over to Georgia
by September 1, 2005.

While, the Armor/Tank Repair Factory No 142 in Tbilisi will be handed
over to Georgia before June 15, 2005.

The process of hand over of all the military facilities, which are
not part of the Russian military bases in Batumi and Akhalkalaki,
should be over before January 1, 2007.

Route of Withdrawal/Financing

Georgian side will assist Russia in the process of pull out of military
hardware and personnel via port of Batumi, airport of Batumi, as well
as via Ninotsminda, which borders Armenia.

The Russian and Georgian sides will cooperate in an attempt to raise
additional funds to cover transportation expenses.

Anti-Terrorist Center

Part of personnel, equipment and infrastructore currently belonging
to Batumi military base will be used for setting up of a joint
Russo-Georgian anti-terrorist center.

Details about this joint anti-terrorist center will be outlined in
a separate agreement, which is expected to prescribe the number of
those personnel and equipment, which will be used for the center.

According to the joint communique the sides pledge to develop agreement
over the joint anti-terrorist center in the near future.

Gudauta Military Base

The sides agreedto continue work over the launch of international
monitoring of a military base in Gudauta, breakaway Abkhazia, under
the aegis of the OSCE.

Russia claims it has already closed down its base in Gudauta, as
envisaged by 1999 OSECE Istanbul treaty; however Georgian insists on
international monitoring of the base to verify the fact of closure.

Borders

The joint communique says that Russia and Georgia expressed interest
to finalize an agreement over delimitation of Russo-Georgian state
borders during 2005.

Conflicts

The sides expressed readiness to work over a political settlement of
conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia "solely through peaceful means"
based on the principle of respect of Georgia's territorial integrity.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress