Abkhazia, Russia ink 49-yr pact

Moscow, In a move likely to irk Western powers, including the US, Russia has signed a 49-year defence pact with Georgia’s breakaway republic Abkhazia, under which it will have a naval base at the country’s Black Sea coast.

Under the 49-year agreement Russia will have an airbase in Gudauta and a naval base in Black Sea coast of Ochamchira, Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh told Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily.

After the five-day war with Georgia over another de facto independent province of South Ossetia, Moscow had formally recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and established diplomatic relations with them.

According to Mr Bagapsh, the projects are not expected to be too costly.

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