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Reports: Russia Plans Air Force Base in Abkhazia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 29 Jan.'09 / 12:14

Russia may deploy its air forces in Abkhazia, as part of the planned military base in the breakaway region, Interfax news agency reported on January 29 quoting unnamed Russian “military-diplomatic source” 

“Deployment of unit of the Russian air forces on Bombora airdrome [in Gudauta] is being considered in consultations with the Abkhaz side, along with creation of a naval base in Ochamchire,” Interfax reported quoting the source.

According to this report, Russia wants to deploy up to 20 planes on the Abkhaz airfield, including Su-27 Flanker fighter jets; Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft and military cargo planes.

Meanwhile on January 28, representatives of the 26 NATO states discussed the reports about Russia’s plans to establish its military base in the breakaway region and alliance Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer will raise it with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov in February, NATO spokesman James Appathurai said.

"NATO allies have made their position clear on Georgia's territorial integrity and that includes all of Georgia's recognized borders," Reuters reported quoting Appathurai. "They have seen the press reports suggesting Russia might build bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and they view them with concern.”

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