Russia signs agreement to station military bases in Abkhazia

Russia signs agreement to station military bases in Abkhazia

10 Mar, 01:45 PM

The breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia has signed an agreement with Moscow allowing Russia to keep its military bases in the region for 49 years, Abkhasia’s President told Russian daily, Novaya Gazeta, in an interview Friday.

According to the agreement, a military air base is to be stationed in the region of Gudaut, the separatist leader Sergei Bagapsh said. The project will be relatively cheap, as it involves modernization of existing Soviet structures.  

The same is true for a naval base to be located in the Abkhaz port of Ochamchire, where minimal renovation is required, Bagapsh said.

The document also stipulates that Russia can keep its bases in Abkhazia for 49 years. The total number of Russian troops under the agreement is 3,800.

Russia's plans to keep thousands of troops in Abkhazia and Georgia's other breakaway region of South Ossetia have angered Tbilisi and its Western allies, who say it violates the ceasefire that ended the Russia-Georgia war last August, AFP adds.

Russia poured troops and tanks into its southern neighbour to push back Georgia's military attempt to regain control of South Ossetia, and Moscow subsequently recognised Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

Tags: Abkhazia, Georgia, military bases

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