Russia's Transcaucasian Army Group denies the information. "Not a single Russian soldier is travelling in Georgia unless his itinerary has been agreed upon with the host country's Defence Ministry. Adzharia is no exception in this respect," Colonel Vladimir Kuparadze, group spokesman, said to the Novosti/Georgia news agency.
The Base 12 contingent was relieved according to schedule within a few previous days. A new contingent replaced demobilised soldiers. Georgia's Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs were duly informed well beforehand, and lists of soldiers were coordinated with ministerial officers.
Planned toward last year's end, the personnel change was put off to this month. The army group command determined the postponement due to the Rose Revolution in Georgia, which brought a change of its top.
The replacement coincides in time with Adzhar problems by sheer chance, reassures Colonel Kuparadze.
A total 188 soldiers of the Base 12 in Adhzaria are to be relieved, say Russian ambassadorial officers in Georgia.