The United States (US) Department of State says it "strongly opposes” the ratification of a military deal between Russia and Georgia’s western de facto Abkhazia region on the creation of joint troops.
We do not recognise the legitimacy of this so-called ‘treaty’, which does not constitute a valid international agreement,” said US Department of State spokesperson John Kirby at a press conference today.
Kirby stressed the US' position on Georgia’s two de facto regions Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) "remains clear”.
These regions are integral parts of Georgia and we continue to support Georgia’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity,” Kirby said.
He added Russia should fulfill all of its commitments under the 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, reverse its recognition of the de facto regions as independent states and provide free access for humanitarian assistance to these regions.
Yesterday Russia’s president confirmed the "validity” of the deal with his signature.
The illegal deal stated the main task of the combined military force would be "adequate reaction to an armed attack (aggression)”.
This joint group would contain Russian troops and be deployed in occupied Abkhazia. It would also include two Abkhazian motorised infantries, artillery and aviation groups as well as special forces units.
The group will be led by a Russian military representative.