Russian troops leave Georgia

Pullout comes as Georgia says it will lift week-long state of emergency.

    Russian troops have been in Georgia since the fall of the Soviet Union [File: EPA]

    The presence of Russian troops - based in Georgia since the collapse of the Soviet Union - had been a constant irritant between the two countries.
     
    Pullout confirmed
     
    Early on Thursday, General Alexei Maslov, a top Russian military official, confirmed that Russia was pulling out its troops from Georgia.
     
    "There are no more Russian troops in Georgia, there remain only peacekeepers ... in Abkhazia, and those that are part of the combined forces in South Ossetia with the participation of Georgia," the RIA-Novosti quoted him as saying.

     

    Maslov's aide, Colonel Igor Konashenkov, said the final convoy of troops and equipment based in Batumi in southwest Georgia had already crossed into Armenia to set up base in the northern town of Gyumri. 

     

    Russia pulled out its troops from the Akhalkalaki base in June following increased scrutiny and criticism of its activities in Georgia.

     

    Russia blamed

     

    Mikhail Saakashvili, the Georgian president, imposed emergency rule after police crushed street protests and raided an opposition television station last week.

     

    He accused Russia of staging the protests in an attempt to overthrow his government.

     

    Facing a barrage of complaints that he was cracking down on democratic freedoms, Saakashvili last week set a snap presidential election for January 5 in a move aimed at defusing the tension with the opposition.

     

    Saakashvili defended the emergency rule this week, saying that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, had threatened to divide the nation permanently along ethnic lines.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Will you push the boundaries or play it safe?

    Will you push the boundaries or play it safe?

    Curate an art exhibition and survive Thailand's censorship crackdown in this interactive game.