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MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law on ratification of a treaty formalizing alliance and integration with South Ossetia. The document was published on the official web portal for legal information on Tuesday.
The accord, signed in Moscow by the leaders of Russia and South Ossetia on March 18, was ratified by Russia’s State Duma lower house of parliament on June 19 and by the Federation Council upper house on June 24. South Ossetia’s parliament ratified the document on April 3.
The treaty envisages establishment of a common defence and security space, free border crossing, integration of customs agencies, police cooperation, simplified procedures for obtaining the Russian citizenship and a social component, in particular, pension increases.
A senior Russian foreign ministry official said the document "is a follow-up to the vast contractual legal framework of relations between Russia and friendly South Ossetia".
"This framework is made up of 83 bilateral documents and relies on the so-called big Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance of September 17, 2008," said Mikhail Shurgalin, deputy director of the Foreign Ministry’s 4th CIS Department.
He added that the new treaty was a framework agreement and would serve in the future as the basis for bilateral agreements "in social, economic and humanitarian spheres, as well in defence and security".
The treaty will help "establish South Ossetia as a modern democratic state, strengthen its international profile and ensure reliable security and the republic’s social and economic formation," Shurgalin said.
The document has a lifetime of 25 years and can be extended by 10 years.