(armenialiberty) - The Russian army said on Thursday it had completed the removal of all its military equipment from Tbilisi to transfer it to neighboring Armenia.
Some 350 tons of military hardware have been pulled out of the Georgian capital, Itar-Tass news agency quoted the Russian military command as saying, reports Trend.
Russia plans to dismantle its two army bases in Georgia, Akhalkalaki and Batumi, by 2007 and 2008 respectively. Now it has also decided to withdraw its contingent from Tbilisi ahead of schedule. The 387 men belonging to the Russian garrison in Tbilisi are to leave Georgia by next week.
Russia considers Armenia to be a close ally but its relations with Georgia have been tense since the election there of President Mikheil Saakashvili three years ago. Relations took a further downturn recently when Georgia arrested four Russians for alleged spying in September, prompting Moscow to cut all links with its neighbor. In October, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Russian soldiers would withdraw from Georgia "without leaving a single sock".