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2 Sep, 2008 01:09

South Ossetia wants Russian troops on its territory

Russia and South Ossetia plan to set up military co-operation. This would include the deployment of a military base in the republic. Georgia strongly opposes such moves, accusing Russia of attempts to annex Georgian territories.

It’s thought Moscow and Tskhinval could reach the deal as early as Tuesday.

Earlier, the head of the South Ossetian parliament, Znaur Gassiev, said that President Eduard Kokoity had asked him to prepare documents concerning military cooperation with Russia.

According to them, a military base will be stationed in Java, 20km from the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinval. There are conflicting reports about how many troops will be deployed, but the most likely figure is around 3,000 to 4,000. It is not known where the agreement will be signed, whether in Moscow or Tskhinval.

Recently the Georgian side stated that the operation of restoring territorial integrity will continue. Soon after this the South Ossetian president asked Russia to deploy a military base in the republic to protect the South Ossetian people from Georgia’s possible military aggression. The same request has come from the Abkhazian President, Sergey Bagapsh.

Georgia has already said it is cutting diplomatic ties with Russia. It calls Russia’s actions “aggression” and “occupation” and says setting up military bases in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is inappropriate.

On Monday thousands of Georgians took to the streets of Tbilisi in an anti-Russian demonstration, calling on the West for assistance. The Georgian president took part in person. He said the nation is now united as never before and that they will never stop resisting.