Southern Front: Russia and Abkhazia to create joint task force


November 2, 2016 – Fort Russ News – 

Elena Ostryakova, PolitNavigator – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

Today, the State Duma of the Russian Federation unanimously ratified the “Agreement between the Russian Federation and Republic of Abkhazia on a Unified Troop Group.” 

As Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolay Pankov noted, the agreement envisages the creation of a common defense and security space. 

“In peacetime, the organization of cooperation between military units is carried out by an operative group consisting of representatives of both parties. It is headed by the commander of the Russian Federation’s military base. In war time, troops come directly under a commander appointed by the Russian Ministry of Defense and a deputy commander from the Ministry of Defense of Abkhazia. The decision to introduce a group force is taken by the commander in chief of the Russian Federation and the commander in chief of Abkhazia,” Pankov explained.

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The deputy minister emphasized that the realization of the new agreement does not require additional budget allocations. 

Duma deputy Konstantin Zatulin reminded his colleagues that the agreement develops the provisions of the agreement on alliance and strategic partnership signed between Russia and Abkhazia in 2014. 

“We are affirming our line of defense of the territorial integrity of the republic and ensuring security and freedom of residence in Abkhazia for those people who survived the crucible of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and are citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia. Moreover, I want to note that the majority of them are also citizens of the Russian Federation. We are taking them under our protection,” Zatulin said.

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In the deputy’s opinion, a combined troop force will ensure the security of Russia’s southern borders and the holiday season in Abkhazia, where mainly Russians go on vacation. 

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