NATO angered by Russian treaty with South Ossetia

A new treaty between Russia and South Ossetia merges a portion of the South Ossetian armed forces with those of Russia and also increases the economic integration of the two countries 
Coat of Arms of  South Ossetia

South Ossetia was originally an autonomous part of the Georgian Soviet Republic. However, at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 it declared itself independent, angering newly independent Georgia which considers both it and another independent area Abkhazia as part of its sovereign territory. Georgia has continually attempted to enforce its rule and occupy South Ossetia.

In 2008 an attack on South Ossetia and Russian peacekeepers in the area resulted in a disastrous war for Georgia. Russia recognized South Osssetia and Abkhazia both as independent states after the war. Only Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru of UN members recognize the independence of South Ossetia. Nauru may have done so because of Russian foreign aid but Nauru denies this.

NATO claims the treaty violates international law but then it insists every treaty entered into by South Ossetia with anyone is against international law since it regards South Ossetia as part of Georgia. The signing of this treaty follows the signing of a similar treaty with Abkhazia last year. Both countries are subsidized by Russia. As further integrating the South Ossetian economy with that of Russia, it will make it easier for South Ossetians to get Russian citizenship and will also raise salaries for South Ossetian civil servants and pensions within the country.

Not only NATO but also the US was angered by the agreement. Jen Psaki, US State Department spokesperson said: "The regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are integral parts of Georgia and we continue to support Georgia's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,"

The treaty was signed after talks between Russian president Vladiimir  Putin and South Ossetian president Leonid Tibilov in Moscow on March 18. The treaty includes a pledge of collective security. Putin said the treaty improved the two countries' legal system and in coordination of economic development. Tibilov said: “We know the Russian Federation is the only guarantor for our people and for our republic.” South Ossetia has supported Russia in the annexation of the Crimea. There seems almost zero possibility of either Abkhazia or South Ossetia being reintegrated back into Georgia.



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