Akhalkalak’s Armenians Prevent Withdrawal of Russian Military Hardware

TBILISI (Armenpress)–The seventh phase of Russian-Georgian negotiations on the future of the Russian military base in Akhalkalak–Georgia will start in Moscow on June 22.

Alexander Lutskevich–chief of the Russian military’s press office in the South Caucasus told Georgian Prime news agency that the complaints of local Armenian population–who are demanding that the base should remain there–will also be discussed.

Lutskevich said that around 300 local Armenia’s had banned the temporary withdrawal of 17 military hardware and 25 soldiers on June 14–suspecting it was the beginning of the Russian base’s withdrawal. After negotiating with the local population–the commander of the base returned the military hardware and soldiers back to the base.

The authorized representative of Georgia’s president in the region Gigla Baramidze said the unprepared pulling out of the Russian base in Akhalkalaki may cause discontent among the local Armenia’s–since most of them work for the base. "The central authorities will need at least 4-5 years to find solutions to numerous problems of the region which are being partially solved by the Russian base," he said.

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