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Russian State Duma to ratify treaty on strategic partnership with Abkhazia

January 23, 2015, 1:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The treaty brings the relations between Abkhazia and Russia to a qualitatively new level, Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin said

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© ITAR-TASS Archive/Vladimir Popov

MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma lower parliament house on Friday will consider the issue of the ratification of the Russian-Abkhazian Treaty on Allied Relations and Strategic Partnership. The document was submitted by President Vladimir Putin.

“The treaty brings the relations between Abkhazia and Russia to a qualitatively new level,” Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin said. “The key provision of the treaty is the formation of a common space of defense and security.” Apart from that, according to Naryshkin, the treaty “creates conditions for Abkhazia’s more active involvement into economic integration cooperation with Russia.”

The treaty was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Abkhazian President Raul Khadzhimba in Russia’s southern Black Sea resort of Sochi on November 24. It stipulates the formation of a common space of defense and security, including by means of establishing a united group of Russian and Abkhazian armed forces.

The document also says that should one of the sides come under aggression (armed attack) from any state or a group of states, “this will be considered as aggression (armed attack) also against the other State party.” In this case, the sides will grant each other “the necessary assistance, including military, and render support by available means to exercise the right to collective defense in line with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.”

The treaty also envisions that the Russian Federation “will in all possible ways contribute to strengthening the international ties of the Republic of Abkhazia, including expansion of the range of states that officially recognized it, and creation of conditions for the admission of the Republic of Abkhazia to international organizations and associations, including those established on the initiative and/or with assistance from the Russian Federation.”

The ratification of the treaty will be a milestone event for the Russian-Abkhazian relations, said Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the State Duma committee for the affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots. “The treaty will serve as a basis for the closest interstate integration and bilateral cooperation,” he said.

Russia and Abkhazia, according to Slutsky, already have more than 80 interstate agreements embracing practically all spheres. “The treaty continues the policy towards closer cooperation in the socio-economic sphere, in defense sector and in foreign policy,” he added.

Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and State Secretary Grigory Karasin said that the treaty was to expand cooperation between the two countries in all spheres. “The treaty reflects new realities that emerged in the region in the past six years and expands cooperation between Russia and Abkhazia in all spheres,” he said.

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