RUSSIAN MILITARY COMMANDER FOR TRANS-CAUCASUS IN BATUMI

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TBILISI, March 18, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Commander of Russia's Group of Forces in Trans-Caucasus (GRVZ), Major General Alexander Studenikin is now at Russia's 12th military base in Batumi, the Russian embassy in Georgia told the Novosti-Georgia agency.

"The GRVZ commander arrived in Batumi to directly control the situation around the Russian military base stationed in Batumi," the Russian embassy said.

The Russian diplomatic representation also noted that some Georgian media reports about the alleged movements of the Russian military hardware across Adzharian territory had nothing to do with reality.

The Russian embassy also stressed that the personnel of the 12th military base observed complete neutrality and non-interference with the situation in line with the Russian defence minister's instructions.

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