Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu and the “defense minister” of Moscow-backed Abkhazia region, Merab Kishmaria, spoke on strengthening their defense cooperation, and signed an agreement on covering expenses for modernization of Abkhaz armed forces in Moscow on August 23.
“We appreciate the consistent policy of your military-political leadership to deepen military cooperation with Russia,” Shoigu told Kishmaria, adding that Moscow and Sokhumi have established “a joint defense and security space.”
Shoigu then underscored that Moscow was the first “to recognize independence of the republic, and “continues its full support.” “The documents and agreements that we have signed in 2014 and 2015 are of immense importance, as well as our military base that we continue to reinforce, and which, through our joint efforts, is the stability warrant,” Shoigu stated.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, on his part, Kishmaria stressed importance of Russian military base as well as the Russo-Abkhaz joint armed forces, and expressed his gratitude for Russia for its contribution to “ensuring security in the republic.”
The Framework Agreement envisages creation of the “common security and defense space”, including the “combined group of forces” for the purpose of “repelling aggression”. Russia has signed similar treaties with Tskhinvali Region, another occupied territory within Georgia’s internationally recognized borders.