TBILISI, Georgia A nationwide state of emergency imposed last week amid a police crackdown on opposition protests will end Friday under a measure approved overwhelmingly by Georgia's parliament.
"The nation is no longer in danger, so there is no need to extend the state of emergency," parliament speaker Nino Burdzhanadze said Thursday.
Lawmakers voted 142-2 to lift the state of emergency as of 7 p.m. Friday.
The United States and other Western nations had pressured Georgia to end the state of emergency, which was imposed Nov. 7 by U.S.-allied President Mikhail Saakashvili after police violently dispersed opposition protests in the capital, Tbilisi. Independent newscasts and demonstrations were banned as a result.
The West had warned the state of emergency harmed the Georgian president's efforts to integrate the small Caucasus nation into the European Union and NATO.
In a bid to defuse the political crisis, the worst Saakashvili has faced in nearly four years in power, he has called early presidential elections for Jan. 5.
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday denounced the early vote as a "farce" to "keep the current government in power."
Separately Thursday, Russia completed a withdrawal of troops based in Georgia since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, officials said, although several thousand remain as peacekeepers in its two breakaway provinces despite protests from the Georgian government.
The final convoy carrying about 150 troops and equipment, which had been based in Batumi in far southwestern Georgia, moved to Armenia, said Col. Igor Konashenkov, Russia's Ground Forces spokesman.
"We have completed the withdrawal of our forces from Georgia. Only peacekeepers remain in Abkhazia and South Ossetia," Konashenkov told The Associated Press, referring to the two breakaway provinces.
He said about 1,500 peacekeepers remain in Abkhazia and another 500 are deployed in South Ossetia. Georgian officials say, however, that Russia has some 2,500 peacekeepers in Abkhazia.
Saakashvili's government has accused the Russian peacekeepers of backing separatists and pushed for their replacement with a U.N. force. Russia says its peacekeepers were deployed as part of peace agreements in the early 1990s that ended wars between the rebels and the government in Tbilisi.
On Wednesday, Saakashvili claimed that Russia had sent additional forces to Abkhazia to strengthen its support for separatists.
"They deployed several dozen armored vehicles and artillery pieces in Abkhazia and deployed another 200 paratroopers who aren't part of the peacekeeping contingent," he said Wednesday.
Konashenkov rejected the claim, adding that U.N. monitors in the area would immediately have cried foul if Russia had done it. "Abkhazia has a relatively small territory and U.N. observers keep close track of all troops movements," he told the AP.
Russia had stationed several thousand regular troops at former Soviet bases in Georgia since the 1991 Soviet collapse. Moscow had pledged to withdraw those troops by the end of 2008, but accelerated the withdrawal as tensions have increased between the two neighbors. The 150 withdrawn troops were the last of them.
Saakashvili this month accused Moscow of fomenting unrest and attempting to overthrow his government by encouraging opposition protests in Tbilisi, the capital.
Russian officials angrily rejected the accusations, and accused Georgia of harassing its soldiers.
"Georgian military police kept detaining our servicemen, making it hard for officers to walk out of their bases," Konashenkov said.
Moscow and Tbilisi continue to argue over the status of the former Soviet base in the Abkhazian town of Gudauta. Russia has said it has withdrawn from the base, but Georgian officials say otherwise.
Kote Gabashvili, the head of the international affairs committee of Georgia's parliament, said the Gudauta base still hosts about 800 Russian soldiers and has an airstrip that can handle large transport planes capable of delivering troops and weapons.
"The so-called peacekeepers have lost their status and effectively deal with splitting Abkhazia from Georgia," Gabashvili told the AP.
Saakashvili's efforts to break with Moscow, integrate into the West and join NATO has put him on a collision course with a newly confident Russia.
Last fall, the Kremlin responded to Georgia's detention of Russian military officers on spying charges with a massive transport blockade and expulsion of Georgians living in Russia.
In August, Georgia claimed that a Russian warplane violated Georgian airspace and released a missile after flying over South Ossetia. The missile, whatever its source, did not explode and no injuries were reported, but the incident raised concerns that Russia was trying to intimidate Georgia.Russia hotly denied that one of its warplanes had strayed into Georgia. Some Russian officials accused Georgia of staging the incident to justify sending troops into South Ossetia.
Associated Press Writer Vladimir Isachenkov contributed to this story from Moscow.