Russian forces have remained in the country since independence. Invited in as “peacekeepers” to contain a separatist movement in Abkhazia that Russian intelligence had helped to foment, the troops stay on although their mandate has expired. Last week Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev reportedly said that Russia “does not plan to close its bases in Georgia…. The need for Russian bases in Georgia is not subject to question.” Maybe not in Russia–but in Georgia the foreign minister immediately questioned the need for a permanent Russian military presence. Without outside support, however, Georgia is probably incapable of expelling the Russians from its territory.