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Georgian Police Reportedly Try To Seize Russian Military Facility --> (RFE/RL) 21 January 2006 -- The commander of Russian forces in the Caucasus claims that the Georgian military police have tried to seize a Russian military facility in the autonomous republic of Ajara.

General Andrei Popov said the incident took place overnight when a group of 25 Georgian military policemen forced their way into the Gonio army training ground, near Batumi, on the Black Sea. Popov said they left only after the Russian embassy intervened.

The Georgian Defense Ministry claims Moscow last year agreed to hand over the Gonio training ground to Tbilisi and that Russian troops should no longer occupy it.

Russia still owns two military bases in Georgia, one in Batumi, and the other in the southern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti. It has pledged to vacate them by the end of 2008, but has yet to sign a formal agreement with Georgia.

(RIA Novosti, Civil Georgia, Prime News, Novosti-Gruziya)

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