Withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia to be completed - 2007

Withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia to be completed by December

Russian Military Equipment Leaving Georgian Territory
2007

Commander of the North Caucasian military district Gen. Alexander Baranov told the press on Saturday that the withdrawal of Russian troops and military hardware from Georgia will be completed on December 1. "Not a single Russian solider, nor a single kilo of materiel will remain in Georgia by December 1," he said. He reminded journalists that the withdrawal has been conducted since 2005. He said that 43 trains and 38 convoys pulled out over 1,500 units of equipment and vehicles and over 5,000 tonnes of property to Russia and Armenia from the bases in Batumi and Akhalkalaki. "The last train with weaponry and equipment [of the Russian army] will leave Georgia for Armenia on November 15," he said. Besides, six remaining facilities will be transferred to the Georgian side by the beginning of December, Baranov said.

Source: http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/politics/...issue=11904598

Related news:

Russian Arms Found in Karabakh

Azerbaijan accuses Russia of supporting insurgents

Azerbaijan has joined Georgia in accusations against Russia for supplying arms to breakaway republics. Baku says that part of Russia’s military property which was transported from Georgia to Armenia ended up in Nagorno Karabakh. Moscow shrugged off the allegations on Tuesday. Azerbaijan’s first deputy prime minister, meanwhile, announced plans to enter the NATO. Another anti-Russian front has opened in the South Caucasus. Traditionally hostile Georgia was joined by Azerbaijani authorities who launched an attack on Russia. The country’s defense ministry accused Moscow on Monday of militarizing the restive region of Nagorno Karabakh. The Azeri military said that withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia to Armenia creates tensions in the region and added that they have information that some of the military property was taken to Nagorno Karabakh. “A large part of Russian military hardware was taken from Batumi to Russia, while a considerable part was sent to the 102nd military base in Gyumri,” Azeri defense ministry press officer Eldar Sabiroglu told Kommersant. “Another portion of the hardware was sent to Armenia’s armed forces which quickly used it to bolster troops in Nagorno Karabakh.

Mr. Sabiroglu said that Russia’s actions push the situation where Azerbaijan and Armenia are virtually at war close to hostilities and hampers the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh issue. “Azerbaijan prefers a peaceful solution, but this can’t last forever,” he said. “If Russia does not stop its double standards policy and takes no effort to solve the problem under international legal norms, the settlement will drag on. If this continues, Azerbaijan will find other ways to free the occupied land.” The hawkish statements of the Azeri military caused uproar in Yerevan and Moscow alike. Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Karapetyan called the allegations “an intentional lie”. “There never was any transfer of armaments, which our defense ministry also confirms,” Mr. Karapetyan told Kommersant. “I would not like to specify where Russian armaments are because this is Moscow’s business, but I rule out that they might be in Karabakh.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry issued a similar denial. “Such unfounded assertions are not based on any facts,” Defense Ministry presser Col. Vyacheslav Sedov said. “I regret that the Azeri military spread these conjectures. All military hardware and armaments which were transported from Georgia to Armenia are placed at the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri. There can be no talk about deploying these armaments in other regions including those bordering on Karabakh.” The Russian Foreign Ministry was surprised by Baku’s violent attack. “I can assure that everything we transport to Gyumri is taken here under control of the military. It’s better to look closer into the matter before giving a detailed answer on it. I can’t understand what grounds Azerbaijan has to give such statements,” said Russian Foreign Ministry press officer Andrey Krivtsov. While Moscow was reeling from the blow Azerbaijan continued the offensive. The country’s First Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyubov made clear to local reporters on Tuesday who Baku views as a priority foreign policy partner. He said Azerbaijan “has been successful integrating into North Atlantic structures and strives to become NATO member.” “We intend to enter the alliance, and we’ve got a program for that – a plan for individual partnership,” Mr. Eyubov explained.

The Russian Foreign Ministry preferred not to comment the announcement although it had always been happy to comment similar statements by Georgia. But Moscow has no tools to influence Baku like it has in the conflict with Tbilisi. Oil- and gas-rich Azerbaijan does not depend on Russian fuel and sells its own natural resources to the West. Azeri oil was sent to Europe in 2006 through the new Baku-Tbilisi-Ceycan pipeline. Last week, Azeri President Ilkham Aliyev, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Costas Caramantis opened the Turkey-Greece pipeline in a ceremony also attended by U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. The pipe is planned to be stretched to Italy. Mr. Aliyev has assured that the pipeline will be “guarantor of peace and stability in the region.” The only thing that threatens the stability is the pending Karabakh issue fostered by Moscow, as Baku believes.

Source: http://www.kommersant.com/p827774/r_...abakh_Georgia/

Russia Sends Part of Military Equipment to Nagorno-Karabakh – Azerbaijani Defense Ministry


The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry stated the distribution of military techniques by Russia to Armenia, withdrawn from Georgia, causes a danger to the region. “Part of the military equipment withdrawn from Georgia, Russia sent to the Azerbaijani occupied territory of Nagorno Karabakh, Eldar Sabiroglu, head of the press-service of the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan, said. Russia sent 70% of military equipment withdrawn from Georgia to the Armenian military base 102 in the region of Gumru. Taking into consideration the military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, allocation of Russian military equipment in Armenia increases the risk of war. Sabiroglu said that the position of Russia hinders the peaceful regulation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. According to Sabiroglu, Russia began founding its military base in the Armenian 102 base. The settlement of the conflict will continue until Russia holds double policy on the issue. “ Azerbaijan prefers peaceful regulation of the conflict but Azerbaijan’s attempts for this purpose cannot continue forever. Azerbaijan can liberate its occupied territories by other ways, Sabiroglu noted. The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.

Source: http://news.trendaz.com/index.shtml?...078534&lang=EN

Azeri analyst: Strategic balance is changing in South Caucasus not to Russia’s benefit

The fact that Russia is going to fulfill its obligations ahead of time and withdraw its troops from Georgia by the end of 2007 can be only welcomed, well-known Azerbaijani political analyst Rasim Musabekov told a REGNUM correspondent commenting on the ahead-of-schedule withdrawal of Russian equipment and troops from the military base in Batumi and moving it to Gyumri (Armenia), according to a statement by Chief Commander of the Russian Land Forces, General Alexei Maslov, in order to “bring up to strength the 102nd Russian military base there.”

According to Musabekov, the Russian leadership comprehended that they have to withdraw the troops from Georgia anyway and there is no sense in delaying the process. “But the fact that most equipment and personnel are moved from Batumi to Armenia makes me sorry and even concerned,” he said reminding that apart from that Russia suspended the CFE Treaty in its territory. “I think that suspension of the CFE Treaty in its territory will cause questions and steps towards NATO,” the analyst believes. In this connection, Rasim Musabekov says that Russia in no way can be interested in the arms race, which became possible now in neighboring countries. He reminds that before Russia dropped out from the CFE Treaty, the United States cut short almost three times its presence in Germany and Germany itself reduced its Armed Forces almost twice. He added that recent Russia’s steps cannot but cause adequate response throughout Europe.

Going back to the subject of increasing strength of the 102nd military base in Gyumri and change of the military situation for Azerbaijan in this connection, the political analyst noted that no matter how actively Russia strengthens its base, it will not give any advantage in South Caucasus to it, even if one considers the Russian and Armenian forces together. “Two Russian divisions deployed in Batumi and Akhalkalaki were a kind of fulfilling the role of support for the Armenian army and now they won’t. So, anyway, the strategic balance will change not to Armenia and patronizing it Russia’s benefit, despite the evident increase of the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri,” the analyst believes. According to him, Azerbaijan, in its turn, has an opportunity to increase its military potential and at least make them equal to the general military potential of Armenia.

Source: http://www.regnum.ru/english/914395.html

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