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Georgian Parliament Ratifies Russian Withdrawal


http://gdb.rferl.org/d1bad3e6-3c29-4abf-b777-92a158b2f460_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/d1bad3e6-3c29-4abf-b777-92a158b2f460_mw800_mh600.jpg (RFE/RL) April 13, 2006 -- Georgia's lawmakers today ratified an agreement under which Russia will pull out of its two military bases in Georgia by the end of 2008.


Under their terms of agreements signed on March 31, Russia will withdraw from a base in the southern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti by the end of 2007 and from its other base -- in the Black Sea port of Batumi -- by the end of the following year.


The Georgian government has welcomed the agreement. But the opposition fears Moscow will be able to maintain a military presence through a planned Georgian-Russian antiterrorism center in Batumi.


Georgia's Foreign Ministry says that the agreement only mentions the possibility of such a center and that it may not be set up.


(Civil Georgia, Novosti-Gruziya)

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