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Moscow, Sokhumi Sign Military Treaty
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 17 Feb.'10 / 18:51

Moscow and Sokhumi signed on February 17 number of treaties, including on “military and military-technical cooperation” setting terms of use of military base in Abkhazia for at least 45 years.

The treaty with possibility of extending for 15 more years envisages creation of a joint Russian-Abkhaz military base in the breakaway region, Itar-Tass news agency reported quoting a Russian Defense Ministry source.

“The agreement sets terms for joint use of the base by Russia and Abkhazia for the purpose of protecting sovereignty and security of the republic,” the unnamed source was quoted.   

According to the Russian sources, Moscow currently has about 1,700 troops in breakaway Abkhazia.

The treaty was signed after a meeting between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh in Moscow.

Treaties on cooperation in transport sphere, including on air traffic, as well as cooperation agreements in tacking illegal migration and on joint measures during the emergency situations were also signed.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Bagapsh, Medvedev said that the Abkhaz leader’s “official visit” to Moscow marked “a new milestone” in bilateral relations.

“We have passed a long way before signing these documents today – starting from the time when we were not yet recognized [by Russia],” Sergey Bagapsh said. “[Russian] state agencies were helping us much and very often. Today we are formalizing all these efforts.

At the same press conference, Dmitry Medvedev said that President Saakashvili “is persona non grata for Russia.”

He said that despite of the August war he was sure that “sooner or later we will return to normal relations with Georgia.”

“It cannot be otherwise, but personally I will have nothing to do with present President of Georgia,” Medvedev added.

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