Russia Parliament Ratifies Alliance Treaty with Breakaway Abkhazia
Plans to form a joint task force
Since Abkhazia's independence from Georgia is mostly unrecognized by Russia's other allies it can not be brought into the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation.
A bilateral alliance with Sukhumi is a replacement of that.
MOSCOW, January 23, (TASS) - Abkhazia, S.Ossetia’s merger with Russia in out of the question, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said Friday.
“We are not even talking about it,” Karasin said addressing the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, during the ratification of the strategic partnership agreement between Russia and Abkhazia.
Karasin said Georgian elite needs to get used to new realities and accept the sovereignty of its former republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“These are the realities one cannot fail to take into account,” Karasin said when asked about Tbilisi’s possible reaction to the ratification of the agreement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Abkhazian President Raul Khadzhimba signed the treaty in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on November 24, 2014.
The agreement envisages the creation of a joint “defense and security space,” including the establishment of a unified group of troops of the Russian and Abkhazian Armed Forces.
Tensions between Russia and Georgia
Diplomatic ties between Moscow and Tbilisi were severed after Russia recognized independence of two Georgian breakaway republics South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The recognition followed Georgia's attack on South Ossetia, engaging Russian peace-making operations in August 2008. Georgia maintains that recognition infringed its territorial integrity.
Following election of Georgia's new parliament in 2012, tension between Moscow and Tbilisi began to thaw when then-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili called normalization of relations with Russia one of the country's top priorities.
Over a year ago Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia could possibly return to visa-free regime with Georgia.
Regular air traffic on the Moscow-Tbilisi-Moscow route was back to normal last September for first time since its suspension in August of 2008.
Last October, Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian prime minister’s special envoy for relations with Russia, said Tbilisi supported the idea of organizing a summit meeting between Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and his Russian counterpart Putin.
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