[A-List] US imperialism: Georgia

Michael Keaney michael.keaney at mbs.fi
Wed Jan 14 03:30:06 MST 2004


US offer for Russian base exit

Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow
Wednesday January 14, 2004
The Guardian

Washington has offered to help fund the withdrawal of Russia's two remaining
military bases from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, raising the moral
stakes in the regional battle between the two former cold war foes.

Russia has agreed to withdraw its troops, but recently said this might not
happen for 11 years, a delay which is unacceptable to Georgia's new
government. Georgia's interim leader, Nino Burdzhanadze, said:
"Russian-Georgian relations would become much better if the bases were
withdrawn."

Yesterday the US deputy assistant secretary of state, Lynn Pascoe, said in
Tbilisi: "We would be happy to provide some assistance... to pull out the
forces."

Washington's offer ensures that the only obstacle to Russia's quick
withdrawal remains Moscow's unwillingness to retreat from the former Soviet
Union while the US expands eastwards. Washington has been slowly increasing
its presence in Georgia, training local troops and considering storing
military equipment in the region.

Yesterday Mr Pascoe offered a further £1.6m to train Georgian troops, and 77
US heavy armoured vehicles arrived to aid the training.





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