Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, ratified treaty on “alliance and strategic partnership” with breakaway Abkhazia, which was signed by President Vladimir Putin and Abkhaz leader Raul Khajimba in November.
The treaty was ratified with 441 votes to 1; one MP abstained, Itar-Tass news agency reported.
Russia also plans to sign new treaty with Georgia’s another breakaway region of South Ossetia.
The draft agreement on “alliance and integration” with South Ossetia envisages much deeper integration of the region with Russia than the one signed between Moscow and Sokhumi.
Draft treaty with South Ossetia will formalize merger of the breakaway region’s many key structures with those of the Russian Federation.
According to the draft treaty defense, security, and customs agencies of the breakaway region should become part of relevant ministries and agencies of the Russian Federation. Border crossing point at Roki tunnel, which links the breakaway region with Russia, will be removed, according to the draft. It also envisages “joint measures” of the Russian and South Ossetian law enforcement agencies in fighting against crime.