Shevardnadze Admits Russian Bases Pull Out Will Hurt Locals

TBILISI (Armenpress)–Georgia’s President Edward Shevardnadze admitted that the withdrawal of the Russian military base from the town of Akhalkalak–located in the southern region of Javakhk. Akhalkalak’s population is predominantly Armenian and the withdrawal would exasperate the tense situation because the base employs around 2,000 people.

"The people could lay on the road and block the Russian troops and military hardware from leaving–if we decide to withdrawal the troops," said Shevardnadze.

Shevardnadze also said that the base was the only source of income for many local residents.

"If we want the Russian base to be pulled out from Akhalkalak–we have to create as many new jobs to satisfy the local demand and relieve any possible tension," he said.

According to him–people in Batumi–Georgia would also be unhappy with a possible withdrawal of the Russian base in Batumi. "Russian bases from Akhalkalak and Batumi should be pulled out only after new jobs are created," he said.

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