Moscow, 13 April 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The commander of the Russian security forces said today that troops have left the disputed territory between Georgia and the breakaway republic of Abkhazia. But General Aleksandr Yevteev said that Russian troops will return to the Kodori Gorge. He said further patrols will be conducted at least once a week, in line with a protocol signed with Georgia earlier this month.
Abkhazia claimed de facto independence from Georgia following a war in the early 1990s.
The Kodori region was occupied by Georgian troops following a flare-up of tension there last October.