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South Ossetia and Abkhazia’s borders under Russia’s protection2008-10-23 11:37
Russia's border service, under the auspices of the FSB, will guard Abkhazia and South Ossetia's borders. As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports, this will happen after the State Duma ratifies the treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid with the two Caucasian republics, introduced into parliament by President Dmitriy Medvedev.
Russian border guards, along with their colleagues from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, will appear along the entirety of the borders of these republics. This measure will be the result of a special agreement reached by both republics with Russia.
Let us remember that on 17th September the Russian Federation signed treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The documents were signed by their respective presidents Dmitriy Medvedev, Eduard Kokoity and Sergei Bagapsh.
As Andrei Kelin, head of the Fourth Department of the CIS Countries within the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, "The border protection will presuppose joint financing and carrying out of this service. The Abkhazian and Ossetian military have these services in the aforementioned republics".
Both republics are eagerly awaiting the State Duma's ratification of the friendship treaties. Deputy Speaker Oleg Morozov reports that the lower chamber will deal with this at its plenary session on 29th October.
The State Duma has already expressed its readiness to do everything to untie the executive's hands in order for closer cooperation with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This was confirmed by the deputy chairman of the Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutskiy. He says that the friendship treaties will be ratified as early as this Friday, and that there will probably not be any disagreements, since this is a fundamental question for Russia.
The parliaments of the republics ratified the friendship treaties with Russia on 24th September and 2nd October.
Article Seven of both documents states that the protection of the state borders "will be implemented through the joint efforts of both sides involved in this treaty, proceeding from the interests of their own security, as well as peace and stability in the Caucasus region". In accordance with this article, after the State Duma ratifies the treaties the sides will conclude separate agreements on the protection of the state borders.