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28 June 2004 -- NATO today urged Russia to fulfill pledges to withdraw its troops and bases from Georgia and Moldova.
NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer was speaking after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of an alliance summit in Istanbul.
De Hoop Scheffer said the impasse over the Russian military presence in Georgia and the Transdniester region of Moldova was one of the "hard nuts" in NATO's relations with Moscow.
At a summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Istanbul in 1999, Russia pledged to withdraw its forces from both countries by 2002, but halted the process in 2001.