Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili described a protest rally outside the Russian military base in Akhalkalaki as “a show staged by a small group” of those people who are employed at the military base, which can not hinder the withdrawal process of the base.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikheil Kaminin said on April 26 that the withdrawal of military hardware from the Akhalkalaki base scheduled for April 25 was hampered because of a protest rally by local residents who are against the withdrawal of this base.
“20-25 people staged a ‘show’ in front of the Russian television stations’ cameras outside the Russian base, but no complications ensued. However, this fact is very symptomatic. We know who was behind this ‘show.’ It was masterminded by those people inside the base and their family members; it was not staged in Moscow. There will be no massive rallies in Akhalkalaki,” Vano Merabishvili said at a news conference held jointly by all the cabinet members on April 26.
Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli said at the press conference that “the process of the withdrawal of the Russian military bases is on schedule.”