TSKHINVAL, April 3. /TASS/. The parliament of South Ossetia ratified on Friday the alliance and integration treaty between the former Georgian republic and Russia after the relevant bill was submitted with the lawmakers by the South Ossetian president the day before.
On March 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his South Ossetian counterpart Leonid Tibilov signed in Moscow an alliance and integration treaty aimed at establishing closer cooperation in social, economic and humanitarian spheres, as well as on foreign policy, defense and security, while retaining the state sovereignty of South Ossetia. The signed treaty has an expiration period of 25 years and is subject to extension for 10 more years.
In line with the treaty Russia undertakes the responsibility of ensuring defense and security of South Ossetia and protecting the country’s borders. The treaty also envisages an establishment of a common defense and security space between Russia and South Ossetia, as well as of free border crossing between the neighboring states, taking into account restrictions in place for security concerns.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili said in mid-March that his country’s authorities considered the signed treaty between Russia and South Ossetia "illegitimate."
Late last year Russia signed a similar document with Abkhazia, the other former Georgian republic. President Putin and his Abkhazian counterpart Raul Khadzhimba signed the Treaty on Strategic Partnership in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on November 24, 2014.
Russia recognized independence of former Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in August of 2008. The two young nations had been de facto independent for more than fifteen years before that.