Russia's embassy in Georgia has denied reports that tanks and armored units of Russian Military Base No. 12 in Adjaria were moved into Batumi and its suburbs on Thursday. Tamaz Diasamidze, leader of the opposition to Adjaria's leader, Aslan Abashidze, earlier made the claim to reporters.
The Russian Embassy press office said military units were moved from one base to another in Khelvachauri in recent days for security purposes. The units included 4 artillery systems, 4 anti-aircraft emplacements and 4 armored carriers. The statement labeled as a deliberate provocation intended to increase tension in Adjaria and complicate Georgian-Russian relations all attempts to interpret these moves as a demonstration of Russian military technology in Batumi or as any kind of show of force.
The Russian Defense Ministry has issued clear orders to the commanding officers of Russian military bases on Georgian territory to observe strict neutrality and not to interfere in the internal affairs of Georgia. The statement from the embassy press office emphasized that these orders are being scrupulously followed.