Russia has signed military cooperation agreements with the former Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
As per the agreements, Russia will build, use and improve military infrastructure and military bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and create and maintain joint military contingents in times of peace and war.
Russia recognised the two regions as independent states following a brief conflict with Georgia last year, a move that was condemned by Georgia and its Western allies.
The deputy head of the Georgian Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Giorgi Kandelaki, condemned the agreements.
“We are dealing with a simple, barbaric occupation. This agreement is an expression of the deepening of this occupation and colonisation,” Kandelaki told AFP.
Russian military bases are expected to be set up in Gudauta, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, South Ossetia with each base most likely hosting up to 1,700 servicemen, T-62 tanks, light armoured vehicles, S-300 air defence systems and various aircraft.
The agreements signed for an initial 49-year term could be extended for increments of five years after the expiration of the term.