MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. South Ossetia studied every precept of international law in declaring itself an independent republic, President Leonid Tibilov said on Thursday, accusing South Caucasus neighbour Georgia of seeking to manipulate its international allies to prevent the republic’s recognition.
"It's a tumultuous time in the world today, no secret," Tibilov told a TASS news conference. "Naturally, we have held talks with our strategic partner, Russia, on the need to deepen our defense cooperation, including the issue of protecting our state border with Georgia."
"Georgia is striving for the West and such organizations as NATO," he said, noting that its neighbour had every right to do so.
"But we have chosen a different path," he said. "We can say that the reason is the 2008 war and not only that," he observed, noting that South Ossetia had been subjected to several acts of aggression over the past 20 years.
"Naturally, we have made use of all the rules of international law, undertaken relevant work and organised our republic."
"Georgia’s so-called ‘friends’ around the world are being manipulated in a way to counteract South Ossetia’s policy on further recognition," he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and South Ossetia’s Tibilov, meeting in Moscow, signed an alliance and integration treaty on Wednesday to govern staged promotion of social, economic, humanitarian and foreign affairs, and defence and security co-operation between the two countries.
Under the treaty, Russia undertakes the responsibility of ensuring defence and security of South Ossetia and protecting the country’s borders. The treaty also envisages an establishment of a common defence and security space between Russia and South Ossetia, as well as of free border crossing between the neighbouring states, taking into account restrictions in place for security concerns.
The document has a lifetime of 25 years and can be extended by 10 years.
While hailed in South Ossetia as "meeting the national interests of the two countries", Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili on Thursday dismissed the document as "illegitimate".