Georgia pulls out of air defense agreement with Russia

Updated: 2008-05-05 23:33

MOSCOW  -- Georgia said Monday it will withdraw from an agreement on air defense cooperation with Russia, in a further sign of increasing tensions between the countries, Interfax news agency reported.

Georgia's Foreign Ministry has informed Russia of its decision to pull out of the agreement, which aimed to establish a common air defense system among post-Soviet states, the report said.

The agreement was signed by the leaders of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine on February 10, 1995.

Interfax quoted a Russian official as saying that Georgia's decision was self-harming and will pose no damage to the system.

"Georgia's withdrawal from this agreement will not weaken the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) United Air Defense System, since Georgia's participation has been only nominal," the defense official said.

Tension between the two countries has escalated against the backdrop of Russia's increasing support to Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia, and Tbilisi's bid for NATO membership.

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