Russia Signs an Alliance Agreement with South Ossetia

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin met South Ossetia’s leader Leonid Tibilov on Wednesday at the Kremlin. They discussed bilateral relations and coordination to ensure stability and security in the Trans-caucasus region.

According to a statement on the Russian president's website, "The agreement constitutes a basic document for gradual establishment of greater cooperation between the two countries in the social, economic and humanitarian sectors and in foreign policy matters, and defense and security, acting to preserve South Ossetia’s state sovereignty."

The agreement between the Russian Federation and South Ossetia was signed for 25 years, with the possibility of subsequent ten-year extensions.

According to the agreement, the two countries will put in place a common defense security space, allow free movement across the Russia-South Ossetia border, integrate their customs services, develop cooperation between their interior ministries, and simplify the procedures for obtaining Russian citizenship.

Ahead of the treaty, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said in a statement that "the signing is another step against ongoing efforts to strengthen security and stability in the region."

So far, only a few countries -- including Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela -- have recognized South Ossetia. Georgia does not recognize the existence of South Ossetia as a political entity.

US doesn't recognize Russia's South Ossetia treaty

The US did not recognize the legitimacy of Russia's cooperation agreement with South Ossetia.

"Neither this agreement nor the one signed with Abkhazia in November of 2014 constitutes a valid international agreement," said the spokeswoman of the US Department of State Jen Psaki.

Russia's agreement with South Ossetia on Wednesday addresses defense and security cooperation as well as economic and political bilateral relations.

The agreement between  Russia and Abkhazia includes a collective defense system, and extra aid to SouthOssetia.

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