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Deal on joint troops with Abkhazia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, November 24
Russian President Vladimir Putin endorsed the ratification of a military deal between Russia and Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region by the State Duma, and approved the decision about the creation of joint troops between the Federation and the occupied region on November 22.

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded to the decision and stressed that “Georgia was strongly condemning the action”.

“Such provocative steps from Russia serve towards the eventual annexation of Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) and totally ignore fundamental principles of international law, as well as undermine international order,” Georgia’s Foreign Ministry stated.

The Ministry urged Russia to meet its obligations drafted in the Russia-Georgia August 12, 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, which was achievbed shortly after the Russia Georgia August War in 2008.

The Foreign Ministry also appealed to the international community to “adequately evaluate” Russia’s “aggressive actions” and carry out relevant measures that would prevent further escalation of situation in the region.

The illegal deal stated that the main task of the combined military force would be "adequate reactions to an armed attack (aggression)”.

This joint group would contain Russian troops and be deployed in occupied Abkhazia. It would also include two Abkhazian motorised infantry battalions, artillery and aviation groups as well as special forces units.

The group will be led by a Russian military representative.

Georgia’s Defence Minister Levan Izoria stated the best way for Georgia to cope with such situations was a “very strong, NATO standard army” that could play a preventive role for conflicts in Georgia and in the region.