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Russian Official Says Georgia Relations Need To Improve

(RFE/RL) 3 January 2006 -- A Russian deputy foreign minister says relations between Russia and Georgia should improve before the two nations sign a comprehensive framework treaty.

Grigorii Karasin accused officials in Tbilisi of pursuing what he described as an anti-Russian campaign which he said undermined efforts aimed at signing the accord.

Russia and Georgia launched talks on a new framework treaty in 2001.

Reports say the main source of disagreement is related to Russia's demand for a binding commitment that Georgia will never deploy foreign military bases on its soil.

Tbilisi has said there will be no foreign military base on its territory, but reportedly refuses to include the provision in the agreement.

Karasin said the accord is not linked with the agreement on the withdrawal of Russian bases from Georgia in 2008.

(RIA-Novosti/Civil Georgia)