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    CENTRAL AUTHORITIES ARE NOT GOING TO LEAVE WEST GEORGIA UNPROTECTED - GEORGIAN INTERIOR MINISTER

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    TBILISI, MARCH 19 (RIA NOVOSTI) - The central authorities are not going to leave West Georgia without protection, Georgian Interior Minister Georgy Baramidze said in Poti on Friday. "We cannot leave West Georgia without protection for the simple reason that some people in Batumi fear that," he said.

    It was the minister's commentary on the reports that a group of armed men gathered on the administrative border of Adzharia demanding from the central authorities withdrawal of troops from the adjacent Poti district.

    "Additional units of law enforcement structures in Poti to ensure security for the president (he stayed there in recent days) have long been withdrawn from the district," Baramidze said. He stressed that all the law enforcement units located in Poti cannot be fully withdrawn.

    "We cannot leave without protection the city where strategically important facilities are situated - the sea port and important transportation links," said the interior minister.

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