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Ukraine says not to recognize Russia-Abkhazia Allied Relations Treaty

The ministry’s statement described the signing of the agreement as “a provocation aimed at destabilizing the situation in the Black Sea region”

KIEV, November 25. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it will not recognize the signing of the Treaty on Allied Relations and Strategic Partnership between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia.

The ministry’s statement circulated Tuesday described the signing of the agreement as “a provocation aimed at destabilizing the situation in the Black Sea region” as well as “a threat to the peace and security on the entire European space.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Abkhazian President Raul Khadzhimba in Russia’s southern Black Sea resort of Sochi on November 24. The two presidents discussed bilateral relations and made a detailed examination of the situation in the region. After the talks, they signed the Treaty on Allied Relations and Strategic Partnership.

On November 20, the Russian government submitted to Putin a proposal to sign the Treaty on Allied Relations and Strategic Partnership with Abkhazia.

The treaty in particular envisions that the Russian Federation “will in all possible ways contribute to strengthening the international ties of the Republic of Abkhazia, including expansion of the range of states that officially recognized it, and creation of conditions for the admission of the Republic of Abkhazia to international organizations and associations, including those established on the initiative and/or with assistance from the Russian Federation.”

The document also says that should one of the sides come under aggression (armed attack) from any state or a group of states, “this will be considered as aggression [armed attack] also against the other State party.” In this case, the sides will grant each other “the necessary assistance, including military, and render support by available means to exercise the right to collective defense in line with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.”

Article 51 of the UN Charter reads: "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security."

The Russian-Abkhazian allied relations treaty stipulates the establishment of a Joint Group of Forces of the Russian Federation’s Armed Forces and Abkhazia’s Armed Forces to repel aggression. It will be established not later than a year since the treaty’s entry into force.

Russia is to provide funds to modernize Abkhazia’s army not later than three years since the treaty’s coming into force, including stage-by-stage unification of standards of military administration, logistical assistance, monetary allowances and social guarantees of servicemen. Abkhazia’s Armed Forces will also be trained and equipped with modern armaments.

A few points of the document are devoted to guarding of the Abkhazian-Georgian border, whose engineering and technical fitting out is to be completed in two years. The sides are also expected to jointly guard the border. Besides, the treaty stipulates “absolute freedom of crossing of the Russian-Abkhazian state border with account for restrictions established for security reasons.”

In the customs law sphere, Abkhazia will have to harmonize within three years from the treaty’s entry into force its laws with acts of the Eurasian Economic Union of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia, and in the part not regulated by the acts - with laws of the Russian Federation. Abkhazia will also have to bring its budget laws closer to Russian ones.

Russia, in line with the document, will “adopt additional measures aimed to streamline procedures to acquire citizenship of the Russian Federation by nationals of the Republic of Abkhazia.”

Russia will also co-finance the raising of wages in Abkhazia “for the key categories of employees of state institutions in the sphere of healthcare, education, science, culture, sports and social servicing of citizens to a level comparable with the wage level of relevant categories of workers in the Southern Federal District of the Russian Federation.”

The same will apply to pensions of Abkhazian residents having Russian citizenship.

The treaty is concluded for 10 years with the possibility to extend it for subsequent five-year periods.

Russia and Georgia cut off diplomatic ties after Russia recognized as independent two Georgian breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The recognition followed Georgia's attack on South Ossetia that entailed Russia's peacemaking operation in August 2008.