Railway train with GRTT leaves Tbilisi for Armenia
(Itar-Tass) - An ahead-of-schedule removal of the equipment and hardware of the Tbilisi garrison of the Group of Russian Troops in the Transcaucasus (GRTT) began Thursday, an officer at the GRTT headquarters here has told Itar-Tass.
The officer said, "The first railway train with hardware and equipment is heading for Armenia, to the Russian military base at Gyumri".
Another train will go to Russia via Azerbaijan in one week's time, on November 23. Before the year is out, two more trainloads of hardware and equipment of the Tbilisi garrison of the GRTT will be removed, one to Armenia and the other one to Russia.
The timetable for the pullout of the Tbilisi garrison of the GRTT has been fixed with the Georgian side, which, in line with the existing accords, ensures the safety of the removal of the garrison's hardware and servicemen, reports Trend.
"A small group of GRTT staff officers will be set up to stay on in Georgia next year as well, at the Russian military bases at Akhalkalaki and Batumi, to finalize the bases' removal process," the officer said.
The earlier-than-planned pullout of the Tbilisi garrison of the GRTT, which is being carried out by a decision of the Russian Ministry of Defence, is to be completed before the end of this year.
In all, 100 hardware units, 350 tonnes of equipment and ammunition, as well as 387 servicemen will be relocated.
In keeping with the Georgian-Russian accords, the Akhalkalaki base will be closed down before October 1, 2007, and the one at Batumi will be wound up before October 1, 2008.