A train loaded with military equipment has left from a Russian base in Georgia, continuing the dismantlement of all such bases in the country. The first of 21 convoys, it is carrying tanks and other combat vehicles from Akhalkalaki.
Under an agreement reached last year, Moscow will close down that base in 2007. Its other base – in the Black Sea port of Batumi – is due to shut in 2008. Some 300 tanks are due to be transported out of Georgia next week. Russian troops began leaving the base over the weekend. There have been Russian garrisons in the former Soviet republic for more than two centuries but tensions over the issue have increased since Georgia became an independent state.