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Georgian Defense Minister to Hold Talks In Moscow

Moscow, July 26 (RFE/RL) -- Vardiko Nadibayidze, the Georgian defense minister, is in Moscow today for talks with Russian Defense Ministry officials on closer military ties between the two countries.

RFE/RL's Moscow correspondent quotes the Russian defense ministry as saying Nadibayidze will discuss the situation in Russian military bases in Georgia and the supply of Russian hardware to Georgia.

The Russian defense ministry did not say whether Nadibayidze will meet with Russia's newly-appointed defense minister, Igor Rodionov.

In April, 1989, troops under Rodionov's command killed 19 peaceful demonstrators in the Georgian capital. Rodionov was commanding the Soviet Trans-Caucasian military district.

Rodionov's defenders say Soviet-era communist party officials made the decision to use force to break up the anti-governmental demonstration, and that Rodionov was merely following orders.