Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has introduced a bill into parliament which would allow Russian troops to be used abroad “to rebuff or prevent an aggression against another state” as well as to protect Russian citizens abroad.
Medvedev linked the bill to last year’s brief war with Georgia, saying “we ultimately would not want these events to be repeated, but we need to have clear procedures.” A top MP insisted that the bill was primarily aimed at sending a message to Georgia, noting that international law already allowed the nation to use troops abroad in the manners described in the bill.
Since the war, Russia has signed pacts with the governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which declared formal independence from Georgia. The pacts promise Russian forces to defend the enclaves from any Georgian invasion to reconquer them.
Tensions between Georgia and Russia have been growing in recent days, with both sides accusing one another of violations of the 2008 ceasefire.