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Abkhazia says Russia will not build new army bases in republic2008-10-18 11:41
MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's main military base in Abkhazia will be in Gudauta, and no new bases will be built, the Abkhazian foreign minister said Friday.gt-en-newsitem-inside
"We assume that derelict military bases in Abkhazia should be brought back to life to house the Russian military," Sergei Shamba said.
Russia is expected to station about 4,000 military personnel in Abkhazia. Russian peacekeepers have been based in Gudauta, at a former Soviet airbase.
"I cannot say how many Russian troops there are in Abkhazia now," Shamba said. "A significant number remained following the events of August."
Shamba said his country had banned the West from deploying observers on the republic's territory. "The EU is now on Georgian territory, they want to spread their observers to our territory. We will not agree to that," he said after a first round of discussions in Geneva.
The Abkhazian leader also said the Russian and Abkhazian authorities have agreed where the Russian embassy to Abkhazia and the ambassador's residence will be.
He also said the ambassador had been decided but would not identify the candidate. "It is a well-known Russian diplomat," he said, adding that there had been no decision on the Abkhazian ambassador to Russia.