Russia delays Georgia pull-out

President Eduard Shevardnadze sent his defence minister to Moscow yesterday to consult on the future of Russian peace-keepers in Georgia but Russian military officials said a pullout was not imminent.

Vardiko Nadibaidze was due to Russian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Anatoly Kvashnin in Moscow

The mandate for the 1,500-strong force stationed between Georgia and its breakaway region of Abkhazia expired yesterday. Observers fear their withdrawal could reignite the 1992-93 separatist war which killed 10,000 people. Reuters - Tbilisi

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