MOSCOW, (Sputnik) — On March 13, the Russian government approved a draft bill to include some South Ossetian military divisions in the Russian Armed Forces.
"To approve the proposal by the government on signing of a draft agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Ossetia on the inclusion of some of its military units into the Russian Armed Forces," the decree says.
The agreement allows enlisting South Ossetian citizens in the Russian Armed Forces on the contract basis. According to the paper, while signing a contract on military service in the Russian Armed Forces, a citizen should be discharged from military service in South Ossetia.
The further military service of those citizens would be carried out in accordance with the Russian legislation.
The South Ossetian side is set to elaborate documentation on restructuring its armed forces within three months after the agreement enters in force.
Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia, as well as of Abkhazia, following a five-day war that broke out after Georgia's military operation against the breakaway republics in 2008. Since then it has been recognized by several other states, while Georgia still does not consider neither Abkhazia nor South Ossetia as independent states.
In November 2016, Putin signed a law on the ratification of the agreement on Russian-Abkhazian joint group of armed forces, setting out the purpose of and the procedure for creating, deploying and using the joint group of forces. The Joint Group aims "to provide an adequate response to an armed attack (aggression) and other military security threats against either party."