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MOSCOW, September 8 (Itar-Tass) —— The State Duma International Affairs Committee on Thursday recommended to the lower house of parliament to ratify the agreements with Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the stationing of the joint military base of the Russian Federation. It is suggested that the deputies discuss the matter at the plenary meeting on September 21.
The committee’s chairman Konstantin Kosachev told reporters that it is meant to seal by law Russia’s permanent military presence. The agreements envisage that the bases can stay on the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia for 49 years with the possibility of automatic extension every 15 years.
The bases are set up to maintain defense capabilities of the Russian Federation, as well as of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the committee’s chairman said. “We believe it is most important to emphasize the defensive character of the bases’ activity, and that they are not directed against third states. This is registered in the agreements,” Kosachev stressed. He said all factions in the State Duma support the ratification of the agreements.
Parliaments of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have already ratified the agreements.