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Draft law ratifying Russia-Abkhazia agreement on joint forces group submitted to the State Duma

July 15, 2016

Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma for ratification the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Abkhazia on a Joint Group of Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Abkhazia, signed in Moscow on November 21, 2015.

The Agreement and its Appendix set out the purpose, procedure for creation, deployment and use of the Russian-Abkhazian joint group of armed forces.

The joint group has been established for rapid reaction to armed attack (aggression) and other military security threats against either party.

Organisation and conduct of joint exercises is carried out on the basis of joint directives from the parties’ armed forces general headquarters.

The joint forces group is composed of the joint Russian military base stationed on Abkhazian territory, as Russia’s component, and two motorised rifle battalions, an artillery group and an aviation group, as well as a separate special forces detachment as Abkhazia’s component.

In peacetime, cooperation between the military units making up the joint forces group is organised by the Operations Group, composed of representatives of each party. The commander of the joint Russian military base is the head of the Operative Group.

In times of direct threat of aggression or of actual military action, the joint forces group is under direct command of the joint forces group commander, who is appointed by the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence.

Decisions to deploy the joint forces group are taken by the Russian and Abkhazian defence ministers.

The decision to use the joint forces group is taken by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation and the Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of Abkhazia.

The Agreement has been concluded for the duration of the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Abkhazia on Alliance and Strategic Partnership of November 24, 2014 (a 10-year period), with the possibility of automatic extension for subsequent five-year periods.

The Agreement’s implementation is completely in accordance with Russia’s interests, will strengthen security in the two countries, and requires no additional funds from the federal budget.

July 15, 2016