The end of the conflicting story turned out to be quite beneficial for the two countries
Russia and Georgia passed a joint statement about the withdrawal of Russian army bases from the territory of Georgia, Russian and Georgian Foreign Ministers, Sergei Lavrov and Salome Zurabishvili said Monday.
On May 30th 2005, Russia starts withdrawing its army bases from the Georgian towns of Batumi and Akhalkalaki. “The bases cease their activities and start functioning in the withdrawal regime from the moment, when the adequate joint statement between Russia and Georgia is signed,” the official report from the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that Russia would complete withdrawing its military bases from Georgia during 2008.
Russia and Georgia will finish talks on the delimitation of the state border until the end of 2005. According to Lavrov, the statement confirms the aspiration of the two countries to determine the course for the joint work regarding the peaceful regulation of conflicts in the republics of Abkhazia and Ossetia.
According to a spokeswoman for the Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry, the agreement about the withdrawal of Russian bases will add new quality to the relations between the two states, Itar-Tass reports.
It is noteworthy that Georgia preferred to run the policy of ultimatums, when the issue was being discussed, especially regarding the question of terms to withdraw Russian military bases from Georgia. Russia was responding with quite reasonable actions, threatening to withdraw its diplomatic officials from Tbilisi and stop issuing visas to Georgian citizens. The USA, which took Georgia's side in the dispute, recommended the Russian side in the talks to reach an agreement as soon as possible, even if Russia would not be satisfied with the terms.
The end of the story turned out to be quite beneficial for the two countries. Russia achieved the goal that it was running after during the negotiations: the terms to withdraw the military bases are quite acceptable for Russia now. Georgian officials can relax now too: there will be no Russian military presence in the former Soviet republic of Georgia during the forthcoming five years.