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Russia to guard borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Published time: April 04, 2010 06:00
Edited time: April 04, 2010 06:00

Russia has ratified agreements with South Ossetia and Abkhazia on cooperation on border control.

The documents were signed by presidents Dmitry Medvedev, Eduard Kokoity and Sergey Bagapsh in April 2009.

In addition, the presidents have signed agreements on cooperation between Russia’s Federal Security Service, Abkhazia’s State Security Service and South Ossetia’s State Security Committee.

According to the agreements, South Ossetia and Abkhazia give Russia powers to protect their state borders and, in Abkhazia’s case, to guard its marine space as well.

The documents also define the status and conditions on which Russia’s Federal Security Service border control bodies will be deployed in the Republics. As stipulated by the agreements, Russia is to deploy Federal Security Service’s border control administration on Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s borders with Georgia. The administration will also assist the Republics in training specialists for their border control bodies.

In response, South Ossetia and Abkhazia will provide the administration with premises, airspace and landing fields.

The agreements will stay effective only until Abkhazia and South Ossetia form their own border control bodies.

North Ossetian Senator Aleksandr Dzasokhov said the ratification was necessary to stabilize the situation in the region.

“Georgia is a constant source of destabilization,” he was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.

At the same time, according to Dzasokhov, Russian tourists who are used to spending their holidays in Abkhazia will not be affected by the strict border regime.

Meanwhile, the Russian project on non-use of force by Georgia will form the basis for the next round of Geneva talks on security in the Caucasus region, reports Interfax.

It is hoped that the project will encourage Georgia to guarantee the non-use of force toward Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In August 2008, Georgian troops attacked South Ossetia and destroyed part of its capital Tskhinval. Protecting the inhabitants of South Ossetia, many of whom have Russian citizenship, Russian troops entered the territory of the republic. After 5 days of military operations, Georgian troops were forced out of the region. Meanwhile, Abkhazia reestablished control over its territory. In late August, Russia acknowledged the independence of both Republics and signed agreements with them on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance.