The Russian Defense Ministry's Railway Forces will leave Abkhazia in the near future, as repair of railway infrastructure on the section between Sokhumi and Ochamchire has been completed, a source at the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti news agency on July 21.
“Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Anatoly Serdyukov has already signed a relevant order on the withdrawal of the units, which will be issued in the next few days,” the source said.
According to the report, the Russian Railway Forces have repaired a 54-kilometer railway section, eight railway bridges, including those over the Kodori and Mokvi rivers, as well as the replacement of about 10,000 ties.
Georgia has strongly condemned the deployment of the Russian MoD Railway Forces unit in Abkhazia.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said that it had sent the unarmed units – tasked with the protection and reconstruction of railway infrastructure – to Abkhazia as part of Moscow’s “humanitarian assistance” to the unrecognized republic and would withdraw them as soon as the reconstruction works were over. Tbilisi, however, said that Russia was preparing infrastructure in Abkhazia for possible military aggression.