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NATO, partners wrap up Georgia military training

Georgian and Ukrainian troops have taken a step toward readiness for NATO membership with military training that wrapped up Sunday as part of month-long exercises that have angered Russia.

world Updated: May 31, 2009 19:28 IST

Georgian and Ukrainian troops have taken a step toward readiness for NATO membership with military training that wrapped up Sunday as part of month-long exercises that have angered Russia.

NATO is training soldiers from the ex-Soviet states and two other aspiring alliance members at a breezy hilltop base just a few dozen kilometers (miles) from where Russian forces battled Georgian troops nine months ago.

Russia adamantly opposes NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine. Tension over Georgia's NATO aspirations was a catalyst of the August war in a pro-Russian breakaway region in Georgia. Moscow has criticized NATO over the exercises, which officially end Wednesday and are seen as a sign of NATO support for Georgia.