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  Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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The parliament of Abkhazia, recognized by Moscow as an independent state
The parliament of Abkhazia, recognized by Moscow as an independent state on August 26, ratified on Wednesday a treaty on friendship and cooperation with Russia.

The Russian and Abkhazian leaders signed the treaty in Moscow on September 17. Under the pact, Russia has pledged to help the republic to protect its borders, and the signatories have granted each other the right to set up military bases in their respective territories.

Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh confirmed on Tuesday that two Russian military bases were to be stationed in the republic. He said the bases would be located in the towns of Gudauta and Ochamchira, in the west and east of Abkhazia, respectively.

The treaty also formalized economic cooperation between Russia and Abkhazia, and allows dual citizenship. Russia also agreed to unify its transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure with the republic.

The document is valid for ten years, with subsequent extensions possible every five years. It has yet to be ratified by Russia's parliament.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and another breakaway Georgian republic, South Ossetia, as independent states after a brief armed conflict with Georgia, which attacked South Ossetia on August 8. The republics have so far only been recognized by Russia and Nicaragua. Belarus has pledged to follow suit in the near future, and Venezuela has voiced support for Russia's move.


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