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Russian, S. Ossetian leaders to discuss prospects of bilateral ties — Putin’s spokesman

June 01, 2015, 2:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. President of Russia Vladimir Putin will hold bilateral talks with his South Ossetian counterpart Leonid Tibilov on June 1, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said without specifying the agenda of the meeting.

"The president [Putin] has talks on Monday with President of South Ossetia Leonid Tibilov," Peskov said.

The Kremlin press office reported on Sunday that "During the talks at the highest level, the sides plan to discuss the prospects of bilateral relations, including the issues of implementing the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Ossetia on Alliance and Integration of March 18, 2015."

On March 18, Russian President Putin and his South Ossetian counterpart 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 the 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.

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