July 12, 2007 -- Russian defense officials are denying allegations from a Georgian parliamentary committee that Moscow plans to build military bases in Abkhazia.
The Georgian parliament's Territorial Integrity Committee released a statement on June 11 alleging that Russia and pro-Moscow separatist authorities in Abkhazia are planning to build a military base in the region.
General Aleksei Maslov, commander of Russia's ground forces, told reporters today that Russia has "no plans" to build a base in Abkhazia.
Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili told RFE/RL in May that he sees a "breakthrough" in the frozen conflict in South Ossetia. more
President Putin at a Kremlin meeting in April (epa)
PUTIN SPEAKS OUT: During a January press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin said there is a need for "universal principles" to settle "frozen" conflicts in the CIS. His comments came against the background of impending talks on the future status of Kosovo, which many predict will grant it a form of "conditional independence" from Serbia and Montenegro. As an ally of Serbia, Moscow has consistently opposed the idea of Kosovar independence. Putin's remarks suggest he may be shifting his position, but only if the principles applied to Kosovo are also applied to frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union. If Kosovo can be granted full independence, he asked, why should we deny the same to Abkhazia and South Ossetia? (more)