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Russian Air Defense Chief on Base in Abkhazia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 May.'08 / 15:09

Russian military base in Abkhazia would have improved Russian border protection, Russian news agency reported quoting Alexander Zelin, commander of the Russian Air Forces.

“If the relevant political decision is taken [on setting up of base in Abkhazia], it will promote the implementation of air defense tasks,” RIA Novosti quoted Zelin as saying on May 15.
 
The Russian commander also noted that Russia had close cooperation with Armenia in air defense-related issues. “We would like to have similar relations with Georgia. Unfortunately, it is impossible,” he added.

Abkhaz leader, Sergey Bagapsh, said on May 13 that Sokhumi wanted to have Russian military presence to provide security guarantees. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, however, said last week that the proposal on military cooperation with Abkhazia was not discussed.

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