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Russian Military Pullout From Georgia Postponed

The expected withdrawal from Georgia of tanks and other Russian military equipment did not begin as planned Friday. Russian military officials blame the delay on a problem with travel documents for some of their troops.

The deputy commander of Russian forces in the south Caucasus region, Colonel Vladimir Kuparadze, told reporters in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, the scheduled start of the equipment pullout was postponed because of visa problems. The commander says some of the Russian drivers have not yet received Georgian visas allowing them to re-enter the country from Russia after the military hardware is delivered.

Russian and Georgian authorities were meeting Friday in an attempt to resolve the problem.

The two former Soviet republics have approved a plan for Russia's withdrawal from two Soviet-era bases in Georgia by 2008, an agreement that could end a bitter dispute between the two nations.

Some information for this report provided by AP.