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MOSCOW, 5 March. /TASS/. A treaty on allied relations and strategic partnership between Russia and its Caucasian neighbour Abkhazia has entered into force, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.
"As far as I know, according to the treaty, it comes into effect after ratification documents are exchanged," the diplomat said, noting that the treaty could now be regarded as effective since the parties exchanged ratification papers on Thursday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Abkhazia’s leader Raul Khadjimba signed the agreement in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi in November 2014. The document was ratified by Russia’s State Duma lower house of parliament on January 23 and by the Federation Council upper house on January 28.
The accord envisages creation of "a joint defense and security space", including establishment of a unified group of Russian and Abkhazian armed forces, and stipulates Russian "protection of the state border of the Republic of Abkhazia with Georgia".
Russia and Abkhazia will jointly guard the Georgian-Abkhazian border and also sea areas to which the sovereignty of the Republic of Abkhazia applies, the treaty says.
The new agreement also obliges Russia to facilitate "in every possible way" the growth of Abkhazia's international ties and promoting its global recognition.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said in January the accord was in conformity with Russian national interests and complied with policy approved by the country’s leadership to help Abkhazia become a modern democratic state, strengthen its international positions, and ensure security alongside social and economic development.
The treaty is concluded for a term of 10 years with the possibility of its further extension for subsequent five-year periods.