SAMTSKHE-JAVAKHETIA: WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER RUSSIA WITHDRAWS ITS MILITARY BASES FROM GEORGIA

Sergey MINASIAN


Sergey Minasian, Ph.D. (Hist.), director of the Scientific-Research Center of the Southern Caucasus Regional Security and Integration Problems, Russian-Armenian (Slavic) State University, researcher at the Institute of History, Republic of Armenia National Academy of Sciences (Erevan, Armenia)


Introduction

On 30 May, 2005, high-ranking representatives from Moscow and Tbilisi signed a statement essentially signifying that an agreement had been reached on precise dates for Russia to begin withdrawing its military bases from Georgia. This document states that the Russian military bases in Batumi and Akhalkalaki will cease their designated activity and begin functioning under withdrawal conditions from the moment this statement is signed. Their withdrawal should be completed in 2008. This process, the schedule for which, according to both sides, is currently being fully observed in keeping with the agreement they have reached, could create certain threats to the physical safety of the Armenian residents of Samtskhe-Javakhetia (if alternative ways to ensure their safety are not found), as well as give rise to a new situation in the South Caucasian regional security system.

What is more, the withdrawal of the 62nd Russian military base from the administrative center of Javakhk throughout 2005 set off certain political processes in this region, the danger of


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