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Russian bases are Tbilisi’s constant concern2010-03-11 22:29
Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticizes Moscow for violating international law. This time Tbilisi condemns the treaty on a joint Russian military base in the territory of South Ossetia. As we know upon signature of the friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance treaty Russia undertook certain security guarantees toward Ossetians. Georgia still considers Tskhinval its territory refusing to acknowledge that the current situation was caused by the Georgian army's attack on the sleeping town.
It will be remembered that the South Ossetian side called on Russia to deploy a Russian military base in its territory immediately after the end of the 5-day war. RSO president Edward Kokoyty thinks it necessary to prevent "new genocide attempts against Ossetian people".
First information on construction of a Russian military base in the republic emerged later after the legal basis of this step in the form of Russia-South Ossetia friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance treaty was made.
Later the Defense Ministry informed of RUR 5-6 bln from the budget needed for a new military base in South Ossetia. The costs look impressive since many things in the republic - starting from infrastructure - had to be built from scratch. In addition to barracks and motor parks, communications and roads were laid. The roads were particularly important since the command didn't quite like to have Russia and South Ossetia connected by one road only - via Roksky tunnel. According to the militaries, a reserve route was required so that the troops behind Caucasian ridge were not trapped in case of tunnel blockade.
South Ossetian authorities didn't waste time - aware of the tricky situation - and decided to grant a 99-year land lease for the Russian military base.
According to official information now the 4th military base in South Ossetia has automotive artillery vehicles, combat infantry vehicles (BMP-2) and T-72 tanks. There are contract soldiers and officers as well as draftees in the staff. Almost one third of the base's personnel took part in August 2008 hostilities. They entered besieged Tskhinval together with the 58th army units, others were in charge of defense as part of the peacekeeping contingent, Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes.