Tbilisi condemned Russia’s ratification of military treaties with Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as “extremely dangerous steps”, demonstrating Moscow’s policy of “rapid militarization” of these two regions.
“[It is] not only a serious threat to peace and stability in the Caucasus, Black Sea and Caspian regions, but also one to peace and stability in Europe as a whole,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said on September 22.
Russia’s lower house of Parliament, State Duma, ratified military treaties with Sokhumi and Tskhinvali on September 22.
According to those agreements Russia will operate military base in the two breakaway regions for initial term of 49 years.
Moscow signed military treaty with Sokhumi in February, 2010 and with Tskhinvali in April, 2010. Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev requested the State Duma to ratify the treaties this August – on the third anniversary of war with Georgia.
According to the Russian sources, Moscow has stationed on its bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia T-90S battle tanks, Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems, tactical operational missile complex Tochka-U and self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile systems BUK. Russia has also deployed S-300 air-defense system in Abkhazia.
In an interview with RIA Novosti news agency on September 22, Russian military analyst, Igor Korotchenko, an editor-in-chief of the Natsionalnaya Oborona (National Defence) magazine and member of the Public Council of Russian Defense Ministry, did not rule out possibility of further reinforcing Russian military bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia with MI-28N combat helicopters and Iskander-M short-range tactical missile system.