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Georgia Offers Compromise On Disputed Russian Bases

9 June 2004 -- Georgia today called on Russia again to remove all its troops from its territory, but offered to set up joint antiterrorism centers at the two remaining Russian bases on Georgian soil.

The issue of the two remaining Russian bases in the former Soviet republic has been one of several straining relations between Moscow and Tbilisi.

Georgian Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili said Russia's bases "have no strategic or military use, and their presence is not politically justified."

But Zurabishvili offered a compromise, saying that the two sites could be used jointly as "antiterrorist centers."

Russia says it will need up to 10 years to close the sites, and is pressing either Georgia or the United States to help finance the project.