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Russia to continue its support for South Ossetia - Medvedev

RIA Novosti

10:35 20/09/2009 MOSCOW, September 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will continue to give its full support to the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday.

Medvedev sent congratulations to South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity on the occasion of Republic Day in the former Georgian province, which proclaimed its independence from Georgia in 1991.

"Russia intends to continue rendering full assistance to the friendly South Ossetian people in the republic's social and economic recovery," the congratulation said.

Russia recognized South Ossetia and another former Georgian republic, Abkhazia, as independent states shortly after the end of last August's war with Georgia over South Ossetia, which began when Georgian forces attacked the region in an attempt to bring it back under central control.

Only Nicaragua and Venezuela have followed Moscow in recognizing the two former Georgian regions as independent.

Under mutual assistance treaties signed last November, Russia pledged to help South Ossetia and Abkhazia protect their borders, and the signatories granted each other the right to set up military bases in their respective territories.

Russian military bases are expected to be located in Gudauta, Abkhazia, and Tskhinvali, South Ossetia. Each base will most likely host up to 1,700 servicemen, T-62 tanks, light armored vehicles, S-300 air defense systems and various aircraft.


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