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South Ossetia's parliament has ratified a friendship and cooperation treaty
South Ossetia's parliament has ratified a friendship and cooperation treaty with Russia, the republic's foreign minister, Murat Dzhioyev, said on Thursday.

Russia recognized South Ossetia as an independent state along with Georgia's other breakaway territory, Abkhazia, on August 26 after a brief war with Georgia, which had attacked South Ossetia in an attempt to bring it under central control.

Russia signed friendship and cooperation treaties with the two republics in mid-September, promising them close military and economic cooperation. The parliament of Abkhazia ratified the cooperation pact with Moscow on September 24.

Under the treaties, Russia has pledged to help the two republics protect their borders, and their signatories have granted each other the right to set up military bases in their respective territories.

The treaties also formalized economic cooperation between Russia and the republics, and allowed dual citizenship for Russian, Abkhazian and South Ossetian residents. Russia agreed to unify its transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure with the two republics.

The document is valid for 10 years, with subsequent extensions possible every five years. It has yet to be ratified by Russia's parliament.

The republics have so far only been recognized by Russia and Nicaragua. Belarus and Somalia have pledged to follow suit in the near future, and Venezuela has voiced support for Russia's move.


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