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    Medvedev proposes bill on troop deployment outside Russia

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    Russia's president said on Monday he had submitted a bill to parliament on the procedure for sending troops to fight outside the country's borders.

    SOCHI, August 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's president said on Monday he had submitted a bill to parliament on the procedure for sending troops to fight outside the country's borders.

    "This is linked to the events that took place a year ago," Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting with the leaders of Russia's largest political parties.

    August 7 was the first anniversary of a five-day war between Russia and Georgia over breakaway South Ossetia.

    "Such issues must be clearly regulated," Medvedev said speaking in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, which borders on Abkhazia, another former Georgian republic.

    Russia's current 2006 legislation only allows the president to send troops to fight terrorism on foreign soil. Experts say the law lacks clearly defined terms of "wartime" and a "combat situation," which complicates the deployment of army units outside the country.

    Russia sent in troops last summer to repel Georgia's offensive on South Ossetia, where Moscow had maintained peacekeepers since a bloody post-Soviet conflict in the early 1990s. Russia was condemned internationally over its "excessive" use of force and subsequent recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    Georgia severed diplomatic ties with Russia after the war and declared the regions occupied territories. Russian officials said some 162 civilians and 67 Russian service personnel were killed in the conflict.

     

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