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    Russian general denies reports he was detained in Georgia - 1

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    TBILISI, May 19 (RIA Novosti) - General Valery Yevnevich, a deputy chief commander of Russia's land troops, played down speculation Friday that he had been detained by Georgian military police earlier in the day.

    "I am fulfilling the objectives I have been set," Yevnevich said. "I have faced no travel problems in Georgia."

    Aleko Sukhitashvili, chief of Georgia's military police, said the general and officers accompanying him had not been detained.

    But Russia's Foreign Ministry said police had stopped Yevnevich's car near the town of Gori in eastern Georgia, but after he had been identified the car had been allowed to proceed.

    "I am traveling quietly to Tbilisi [Georgia's capital]," said Yevnevich, who oversaw the withdrawal of military hardware from the Russian base in Georgia's Akhalkalaki.

    The pullout from Akhalkalaki, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the border with NATO-member Turkey, began May 15.

    Under a March 31 agreement between Russia and Georgia, Russian troops are to leave two Soviet-era military bases in Georgia by 2008.

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