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Russia will sign cooperation agreements, which will have a military component,
Russia will sign cooperation agreements, which will have a military component, with Abkhazia and South Ossetia this week, President Dmitry Medvedev said Monday.

"This week I will sign the relevant special agreements to develop friendly ties with these new states within international law," Medvedev told Russian businessmen.

Russia recognized Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states after Tbilisi's offensive to retake the latter in early August.

Western nations strongly criticized Russia for its "disproportionate" response to Georgia's attack, and its recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. So far only Nicaragua has followed suit, but Belarus looks likely to do so later this month.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away from Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s amid bloody conflicts that claimed thousands of lives.

Russia established official diplomatic relations with the two republics on September 9.


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