and in yet another coincidence that has nothing to do with US policies or even the visit of Bush to Georgia and its support of the democracy there, Russia announces that it will pull its destabilizing troops out of that nation by 2008.
[quote]Russia to pull troops from Georgia by 2008
Posted: Monday, May 30, 4:00pm EDT
Russia agreed Monday to begin withdrawing its troops from two Soviet-era bases in Georgia this year, resolving one of the most serious disputes between Moscow and its pro-Western neighbor.
The deal is a victory for the Caucasus Mountain nation, whose president, Mikhail Saakashvili, has sought to move the country out of the shadow of Moscow and toward deeper economic and military relations with the United States and Europe.
Troops and equipment will begin to be pulled out of the military base at the southern city of Akhalkalaki by year’s end, and then similar withdrawals with start from the Black Sea port of Batumi, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who signed a joint statement with Georgian counterpart, Salome Zurabishvili. About 3,000 troops are stationed at the two bases.
Russia committed itself to finishing the withdrawal by the end of 2008, according to the pact, the text of which was posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry Web site.[/quote]