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  Sunday, January 24, 2021
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The third military convoy left a Russian military base in Georgia Wednesday
The third military convoy left a Russian military base in Georgia Wednesday as part of a deal on the withdrawal of Russian military bases from the South Caucasus country, signed in 2006. The military convoy, consisting of 10 trucks carrying 35 tons of cargo, left the Akhalkalaki base in the south of the country heading for Gyumri in neighboring Armenia, where Russia retains Military Base 102. The next convoy is scheduled for May 4. The Akhalkalaki base located in a region populated largely by ethnic Armenians is to be completely evacuated before the end of the year, while the base in the Black Sea port of Batumi is to close by the end of 2008. Russia completed the withdrawal of its military garrison from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, handing over control of its headquarters to Georgia's Defense Ministry, last December. Thirteen of the garrison's 387 personnel will remain in Georgia overseeing the withdrawal of Russia's two Soviet-era bases. Georgia's Western-leaning leadership, which is seeking to join NATO, is uneasy about Russia's continued military presence, and has repeatedly urged Moscow to close its Soviet-era bases. All in all, Russia has agreed to dispatch five truck convoys and ten trains to withdraw the remaining equipment from the Akhalkalaki base by the yearend.
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