Thursday, February 05, 2004

Five years?

Russia says it will need five years to close its military bases in Georgia. Georgia wants them out in three. The US is interested in helping Georgia get the bases out as soon as possible.

Russia will need at least five years to withdraw its remaining two military bases from Georgia, a senior defense ministry official told reporters Wednesday, further easing Moscow's stance on the festering issue between the two former Soviet republics.

"This timeframe remains at the basis of negotiations between Moscow and Tbilisi," the official said under condition of anonymity.

Georgia has insisted that Russia withdraw its two remaining army bases in three years. Russia initially said it needed 11 years.


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