Russia's parliament on Wednesday quickly ratified treaties cementing close economic and military ties with Georgia's two breakaway provinces.
The State Duma, or lower house, voted unanimously to endorse the friendship treaties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia which were signed in the Kremlin last month. The Duma, dominated by Kremlin-controlled parties, quickly rubber stamps government proposals.
Russia recognized both provinces as independent states following its war with Georgia in August. The treaties envisage the deployment of 3,800 Russian troops in each of the two provinces.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a letter to lawmakers that the treaties were necessary to create the legal basis for the deployment of Russian troops to the territories. "The Russian troops presence is necessary to protect peace in the region and ensure reliable security," the ministry said, adding that the treaties envisage aid in case of aggression.
I wish I had time to comment, but...I don't. More later.