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MOSCOW, June 19. /TASS/. The Russian State Duma lower house of parliament will consider on Friday ratification of the alliance and integration treaty sealed by Russia and South Ossetia. "The issue will be debated at 11.00 Moscow time (08.00 GMT) on Friday. Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin is due to present the treaty at the [Friday] session," said Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the Duma committee for the CIS affairs (the Commonwealth of Independent States), Eurasian integration and ties with compatriots.
At the end of May Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma the alliance and integration treaty the leaders of Russia and South Ossetia signed on March 18 in Moscow, which stipulates that the two countries will make up a common space for defence and security, free crossing of the border between Russia and South Ossetia, integration of customs agencies, police cooperation, simplified procedures for obtaining the Russian citizenship and a social component, in particular increases of pensions.
Slutsky has said the treaty was fundamental for stage-by-stage enhancement of closer bilateral cooperation while South Ossetia’s sovereignty will be maintained.
"It [the treaty] improves agreements of the year 2008 and is based on a vast legal groundwork in the sphere of stability and security in the Trans-Caucasus region," he said adding the ratification of the treaty would ensure a high level of inter-state integration and bilateral cooperation. The treaty has been concluded for the period of 25 years with possible extension for the following ten-year periods.