On January 24, the State Duma – the lower chamber of the Russian legislature – ratified the agreement with the Moscow-backed Tskhinvali authorities “on the procedure of inclusion of separate units of the armed forces of the republic of South Ossetia into the armed forces of the Russian Federation.”
The agreement, presented for ratification in the Duma by Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Nikolai Pankov, was signed on March 31, 2017, in Moscow. Tskhinvali “parliament” ratified it on July 21, 2017. The purpose of the agreement is to regulate service of the residents of the Russian-occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia in the Russian military, in particular Moscow’s military base stationed in the region.
The document was ratified unanimously, with 411 Russian MPs voting for it.
According to Duma’s January 18 information, it was clarified during the hearing on the agreement in Duma’s CIS, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots Committee that “implementation of the agreement will allow formation of the common defense space of the two states [Russia and South Ossetia], and inclusion of South Ossetian units into the system of training and application of forces of the Southern Military District.”
The agreement presently ratified by the Duma is part of the treaty on “alliance and integration,” signed between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Russian-backed Tskhinvali leader Leonid Tibilov on March 18, 2015.