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Russia does not want to impose friendship on Georgia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it in an interview with the Moscow News weekly digest posted on the ministry's Web site. "For that reason, we negotiated the conditions and deadlines for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia," Lavrov said. Russia has agreed to withdraw its bases from Batumi (Adzharia) and Alkhalaki (near the border with Armenia) before the end of 2008. "These agreements are currently being implemented," Lavrov said. "We are conducting talks with Georgia on the issue of the delineation of borders and on economic issues where the interests of our Georgian partners are rather extensive. And we are getting ready to sign an important treaty." Commenting on the creation of the Ukrainian-Georgian Community for Democratic Choice, Lavrov said, "there was no reason to consider it anti-Russian." "The idea has not been conceived with anti-Russian attitudes in mind," the minister said. Speaking about a possibile repetition of the Ukrainian-Georgian scenario in the Central Asian republics, Lavrov said it was impossible to recreate the exact scenario in other countries because each scenario had its own author, leading actors, and producers. "The elections in each country have been protected from outside influence," he added. "The voters in each country must have the opportunity to make their own decisions, without being prompted by outside forces."
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