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Putin to discuss security in Transcaucasia with South Ossetia leader

March 31, 2016, 8:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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©  Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet on Thursday South Ossetia’s President Leonid Tibilov, who arrives on a working visit to Russia, the Kremlin has said.

"During the talks bilateral cooperation, primarily related to South Ossetia’s social and economic growth, are to be discussed," the statement said. "Also, an exchange of opinions is planned on stability and security in the Transcaucasian region."

Tibilov’s press secretary, Gaga Yanovskaya, told TASS that the talks would include implementation of the Treaty on Alliance and Integration which Russia and South Ossetia concluded in 2015 and which "has raised the two countries’ collaboration to a qualitatively new level."

Putin and Tibilov will have their seventh meeting, with the previous one held in Moscow on 1 June 2015.

Russia recognized independence of South Ossetia on 26 August 2008, after repelling Georgia’s armed attack against the breakaway republic and Russian peacekeepers overnight to 8 August. In September the two countries established diplomatic ties and concluded the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. On 18 March 2015 the heads of state of Russia and South Ossetia inked the new Treaty on Alliance and Integration. The document has a lifetime of 25 years and can be extended by 10 years.

The Treaty envisages joint space for defense and security, free movement across the Russian-South Ossetian border and other aspects of integration. It governs staged promotion of social, economic, humanitarian and foreign affairs, and defense and security cooperation between the two countries, provided South Ossetia’s national sovereignty to be preserved.

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