Russia and occupied Tskhinvali region prepare new integration treaty

Two Georgian regions - 20 percent of the country's territory - are currently occupied by Russia., 22 Nov 2014 - 18:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s breakaway Tskinvali region (South Ossetia) and Russia are preparing to sign a new integration treaty to "deepen military relations”, Russian media reports.

De-facto presidential administration chief of staff of the Russian-occupied region of Georgia Boris Chochiyev said the new treaty would bring relations between Russia and Tskhinvali region to a "qualitatively new level, first of all in the military sphere”.

Tskhinvali region is one of Georgia’s two breakaway regions. Russia recognised the region as independent in 2008, while global society assessed this move as a "violation of international law”.

"With colleagues from the Russian presidential administration, we are working on a new comprehensive integration treaty,” Chochiyev told Russian media outlet ITAR TASS.

"It will significantly differ from the current one as it will bring relations between our countries to a qualitatively new level, first of all in the military sphere. The issue of security is vitally important for South Ossetia and the signing of such a treaty can substantially strengthen it.”

The current treaty on "friendship, cooperation and mutual help” between Russia and the occupied region was signed in Moscow in September 2008, shortly after the Russia-Georgia war.

Meanwhile, earlier this year Russia announced it would sign a treaty on "Alliance and Integration” with Georgia’s other breakaway region Abkhazia. The Georgian Government and the international community said this was Russia’s step towards the annexation of Georgia’s territories.