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Russia continues military pullout from Georgia

RIA Novosti

24/05/2007 11:29 TBILISI, May 24 (RIA Novosti) - Another train carrying Russian military hardware from a Soviet-era base in Georgia left the Caucasus state Thursday, the Georgian Defense Ministry said.

The train from the Akhalkalaki base, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the border with NATO member Turkey, is transporting trucks and communications equipment to Russia via Azerbaijan, the ministry said.

It is the third train loaded with military equipment to leave Georgia this year under Russia's March 2006 agreement with the ex-Soviet state, which has sought closer ties with Western organizations, including NATO.

Russian troops and hardware are to completely withdraw from Georgia's two Soviet-era bases in Akhalkalaki and Batumi by 2008. The pullout from Akhalkalaki is to be completed in the fall of 2007.

The bulk of Russia's weapons will return to Russia, and the rest will be delivered to a Russian base in Armenia.

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