In a ceremony at the Kremlin, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with the heads of state of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, breakaway provinces which gained their independence after the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, where they signed a formal agreement pledging Russian troops to defend the borders of the two fledgling states amid Georgian pledges to reclaim the lost territories.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili condemned the move as “fundamentally illegal,” as his nation doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the governments of either region. Saakashvili has repeatedly pledged to regain control over the enclaves, and called the Russian pledge “very dangerous to everybody, including Russia itself.”
NATO also condemned the pact, with spokesman James Appathurai claiming the move was violating the territorial integrtiy of Georgia. The United States has pledged to use its position as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to ensure that neither South Ossetia or Abkhazia is ever recognized as independent by the international community. Russia insists that agreements with the governments of the enclaves supercede the terms of the ceasefire.
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