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Russia, Georgia Sign Bases Agreements

March 31, 2006 -- Envoys from Moscow and Tbilisi today signed two agreements setting the modalities and time frame of Russia’s military pullout from Georgia.

The agreements were inked in the Black Sea resort of Sochi by Georgia's Deputy Defense Minister Mamuka Kudava and General Aleksei Maslov, the commander in chief of Russian ground forces.

Russia maintains two former Soviet military bases in Georgia, one in Akhalkalaki, and one in Batumi.

Russia's Interfax-AVN military news agency says that under the terms of the Sochi agreements the two bases have to be vacated by December 31, 2007, at the latest.

Maslov told reporters troops and equipment would be relocated partly in the North Caucasus region, and partly in Armenia, where Russia has a military base.

(Interfax-AVN, Novosti-Gruziya)

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