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  Friday, December 13, 2019
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Train carrying military hardware left a Russian base in Georgia early Thursday
A train carrying military hardware left a Russian base in Georgia early Thursday as part of a 2006 deal on the withdrawal of Russian bases from the ex-Soviet Caucasus state, the Georgian Defense Ministry said. The 36-car train is carrying military hardware and ammunition to Russia via Azerbaijan. More military hardware will be removed from Batumi, on the Black Sea, each week until August 2007, the ministry said. The next train will depart June 21, the statement said. Under an agreement between the former Soviet allies, Russia must complete the removal of its bases in Batumi and Akhalkalaki, in the south, by the end of 2008. It has completed the pullout of its military garrison from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, handing over control of its headquarters to Georgia's Defense Ministry last December. 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.
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