MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Russia will ensure defense and security of South Ossetia and protect the country’s borders, according to the Treaty on alliance and integration signed on Wednesday between Moscow and Tskhinval.
The treaty envisages forming a common defense and security space between Russia and South Ossetia.
Separate units of South Ossetia’s military forces will be integrated into Russia’s Armed Forces. Military aggression against one country will be considered an act of aggression directed against the other country as well.
The treaty also envisages free border crossing between Russia and South Ossetia, taking into account restrictions in place for security concerns.
The document stipulates that Moscow and Tskhinval will conduct a coordinated foreign policy. Russia will assist South Ossetia in urging more countries to recognize the republic’s independence.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday praised the alliance and integration treaty with South Ossetia, calling it "a landmark document."
"Today we made another important step towards further consolidation of partnership ties," Putin told reporters after the talks with his South Ossetian counterpart, Leonid Tibilov.
Putin said one billion rubles ($16 million) will be allocated from Russia’s 2016 budget to the implementation of the Treaty on alliance and integration between Russia and South Ossetia.
"The implementation of the treaty will be supported by considerable financial resources. In 2016, around 1 billion rubles will be allocated to South Ossetia for these purposes," Putin told journalists. "In 2008-2014, the total amount of financial support for the republic stood at 43 billion rubles," the president noted.
"The treaty on alliance and integration between the Russian Federation and South Ossetia is a basic document that envisages further bilateral agreements on specific areas of cooperation. It is planned to allocate 1 billion rubles from Russia’s 2016 budget for its implementation," the materials said.
Trade turnover between Russia and South Ossetia stood at $66.9 million in 2014.
The Treaty on alliance and integration between the two countries is a basic document for gradual development of closer cooperation in social, economic and humanitarian spheres, as well as in foreign policy, defense and security while preserving South Ossetia’s sovereignty. The treaty is signed for 25 years, it can be extended for 10 years after expiration.
In November 2014, Russia signed a similar agreement with Abkhazia - a Treaty on strategic alliance.