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President: South Ossetia hopes to merge with Russia in future

March 19, 2015, 12:05 UTC+3
South Ossetian President Leonid Tibiliov said the idea is not on the agenda now
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South Ossetian President Leonid Tibiliov

South Ossetian President Leonid Tibiliov

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. South Ossetia hopes that the idea of merging with Russia will be implemented, but the issue is not on the agenda now, South Ossetian President Leonid Tibiliov said at a press conference in TASS on Thursday.

"I think that the idea of merging with Russia exists among our people, this is not a secret," Tibilov said. "We will try to implement this idea. However, we haven’t raised this issue yet, as they are many concerns," Tibilov said. "We will make steps appropriate not only for South Ossetia, but also for Russia," the president stressed.

Tibilov reminded that Russia and South Ossetia signed a treaty on alliance and integration on Wednesday, March 18. "We will continue work with our Russian colleagues," he stressed.

Military aggression against South Ossetia to be considered aggression against Russia

On Wednesday, President Tibilov and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, meeting in Moscow, signed an alliance and integration treaty governing staged promotion of social, economic, humanitarian and foreign affairs, and defense and security cooperation between the two countries.

It 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.

The document is valid for 25 years and can be extended by 10 years.

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