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Putin: Russia & Abkhazia agree to enhance security cooperation in Caucasus

Originally appeared at RussiaFeed.com

PITSUNDA (Abkhazia), (Sputnik) – Russia and Abkhazia will develop closer security cooperation in the Caucasian region, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Putin arrived in Abkhazia to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which erupted in August 2008, and to hold negotiations with Abkhazian President Raul Khajimba.

“During the negotiations, we have agreed to coordinate our actions addressing the security challenges and threats in the Caucasus more closely. The joint Russian military base stationed on the Abkhazian territory continues to play the key role in ensuring stability in the region,”

Putin said following the talks with Khajimba.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in the early 1990s. In August 2008, Georgia launched a military offensive against South Ossetia and partially destroyed its capital. Russia sent troops to South Ossetia trying to protect local residents, many of whom had Russian citizenship. After five days of hostilities, Russia managed to expel Georgian troops from the breakaway region. In late August, Russia recognized independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

On November 21, 2015, Russia and Abkhazia signed an agreement on joint group of forces. On November 22, 2016, Putin signed the federal law on ratification of the 2015 agreement.

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