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    US WANTS RUSSIA TO OBSERVE OBLIGATIONS IN RESPECT TO MOLDOVA AND GEORGIA

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    WASHINGTON, March 6 (RIA Novosti, Arkady Orlov) - A draft of a resolution demanding that Russia must observe its obligations in respect to Moldova and Georgia has been submitted to the US Senate, US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations officials told RIA Novosti.

    Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator (Rep.) Richard G. Lugar proposed a draft resolution called US Senate's Opinion on Russia's policy toward Moldova and Georgia.

    The resolution states in particular that Russia has completed the withdrawal of its military equipment from Moldova in the framework of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe. However, it has not yet withdrawn its military contingent from Moldova, despite its promise to do so made during the OSCE summit in Istanbul in 1999. The document claims that during 2004 Russia has not made any progress in terms of the withdrawal of its military contingent from Moldova.

    The author of the resolution also stated that the issue of the presence of the Russian military contingent in Georgia has not been settled either.

    The document says that Russia has completed the withdrawal of parts of its military equipment from Georgia, which exceeded the limit established by the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe. However, it has not reached an agreement with Georgia on the status of Russian military personnel at Gudauta military base, and on the length of stay for Russian military contingents at the bases in Akhalkalaki and Batumi.

    The resolution also expresses US disagreement with the closure of the OSCE mission on the border between Georgia and Russia, whose work was stopped on demand by the Russian side.

    The document presents "the opinion of US senators" that Russia must be forced to observe the obligations in respect to Moldova and Georgia assumed by Russia in 1999 during the OSCE summit in Istanbul.

    According to the document, the US, together with its European allies, intends to apply heavydiplomatic pressure on Russia in order to resume the activities of the OSCE mission on the Georgian-Russian border.

    Meantime, the document stresses that in case the work of the mission is not resumed, the US and its allies intend to demand other forms of international presence in the region to ensure objective monitoring of the situation on the Georgian-Russian border, especially at checkpoints on the Chechen, Ingush and Daghestan stretches of the border.

    Presenting the draft of the resolution, Senator Lugar stated that the security situation in this region would only deteriorate if Russia failed to meet its obligations on the withdrawal of its military contingents from Moldova and Georgia and if the OSCE mission stopped its activities.

    The US must demonstrate its decisive leadership in these matters, the senator concluded.

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