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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER NAMES THE COST OF MILITARY BASES WITHDRAWAL FROM GEORGIA

RIA Novosti

ST PETERSBURG, March 22 (RIA Novosti) - The withdrawal of the Russian military bases from Georgia will cost approximately $250-300 million.

"The cost of the withdrawal of the Russian military bases from Georgia is approximately $250-300 million. This includes the withdrawal of army and equipment, provision of servicemen with housing, development of new places for deployment as well as construction of new bases for arms storage and of new barracks," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told journalists.

It will be an extra burden for the Russian budget, he stressed.

"The Russian Finance Ministry will start financing the withdrawal of the bases after the proper agreement is signed and therefore comes into force. The negotiations will determine the date for the signing of the agreement," Ivanov noted.

According to him, in the end of March Moscow will host another round of the Russian and Georgian Foreign Ministries' negotiations concerning the Russian military bases in Georgia, where the Russian Defense Ministry will take part as well.

"Our position concerning this issue remains unchanged," Ivanov stressed.

"There can be various estimations of the possible terms for the withdrawal of the bases, but the principle is the most important," the Defense Minister added.

"There is no way that the Russian bases will be taken "in the open field" just like it was in Germany. The necessary condition is that we must first of all create the places for the new deployment and the infrastructure for the normal existence, including the social," the minister stressed.



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