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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

MOSCOW WILL CONTINUE DIALOGUE WITH GEORGIA ON MILITARY BASES

RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed Russia's readiness to continue negotiations with Georgia on the issue of the presence of Russian military bases on the Georgian territory.

"Our plans remain in full force, and we will discuss (with Georgia) both the presence of our bases (in Georgia) and the financing of their operation," he said during a press conference in Moscow.

Mr. Lavrov reminded the journalists that during his recent visit to Georgia, during meetings with the Georgian president and the Georgian foreign minister, the sides agreed to use the remaining two months to intensify the negotiation process on the issue of Russian military bases.

"We reached an agreement to intensify the negotiation process on bilateral relations, including the presence of Russian military bases on the territory of Georgia," Mr. Lavrov stated.

"We maintain close contacts with Georgian executive bodies and they do not support the decision adopted by the Georgian parliament," the Russian minister emphasized.

He said that Russia's and Georgia's plans to intensify the negotiation process in the next two months "remain in full force and we will resume this process." According to Mr. Lavrov, during the upcoming talks the sides will not only touch upon the issue of the presence of Russian bases, but also discuss the funding of their operation.

The Russian foreign minister reminded the journalists that when Russia and Georgia agreed on the withdrawal of Russian military bases during the Istanbul OSCE summit, the OSCE countries promised to provide financial support of this process.

"We will discuss this issue, as well," Mr. Lavrov said.



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