New Times Party on withdrawal of Russian bases from Georgia:
When Russians go away, Armenians have to do the same
May 30, 2006

The New Tinmes opposition party has held a sanctioned rally in Yerevan under slogan “Attention to Javakh.” “We do not want to interfere into Georgia's internal affairs, our task is to tell the Armenian government that after Russian military withdraw from Georgia, social, economic and demographic situation of Armenians living there would worsen,” leader of the Party Aram Karapetyan announced during the rally.

According to him, a negative trend for Armenians can be seen in the post-Soviet territory: “When Russians leave, Armenians have to follow them.” “So, in Javakh (Samtskhe-Javakheti — REGNUM ) up to several thousand Meskhetian Turks can settle, in the long run, Javakh can be taken under control of Georgian troops,” Aram Karapetyan noted.

After the rally, the participants marched to the Foreign Ministry, then to the Armenian Government, where Aram Karapetyan gave appeal of the Attention to Javakh Action participants to officials of these agencies. A copy of the appeal was given to Ambassador of Georgia in Armenia Revaz Gachicheladze . The message particularly presents two claims to the Armenian authorities. First, “to increase substantially finances allocated for settlement of social and economic, cultural problems of the Javakh Armenians.” Besides, the New Times Party claim for “discussing multilaterally and achieve a positive solution to all vital issues about which Javakh Armenians are concerned, up to signing a bilateral agreement on border delimitation.”

Late March Tbilisi and Moscow signed two agreements concerning time limits for withdrawal of Russian military bases and transit of the armaments. The Base from Akhalkalaki will be withdrawn from Georgia by the end of 2007, and the Batumi base by the end of 2008.