Abkhazia Willing to House Russian Bases

TBILISI (Itar-Tass)–Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed republic of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab expressed readiness to house the two military bases that Moscow is pulling out from Georgia.

"We are ready to accommodate the Russian military bases in Abkhazia. We have the appropriate infrastructure," Ankvab said in an interview with the Tbilisi-based Rustavi-2 television company in Moscow.

He did not indicate the Abkhazian districts where the bases might be deployed or the number of the Russian personnel Abkhazia was ready to accommodate.

Commenting on this statement–Georgia’s State Minister for Conflicts Settlement said Abkhazia is a part of Georgia–therefore the issue of the Russian bases in Georgia is not within its capacity.

"This issue is a subject of talks foremost between Moscow and Tbilisi," Khaindrava stressed.

He said the wish of Sukhumi’s leadership to deploy Russian military bases in Abkhazia is unrealistic–and hardly surprising amidst the "militaristic rhetoric and various exercises" held in the self-proclaimed republic in the recent months.

"Regrettably–it shows that the peace process is not yet as intensive as one would wish to see," the minister said.

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