Georgia condemns Russia, South Ossetia draft treaty

ANKARA - Georgia condemned Tuesday a draft treaty on alliance and integration between Russia and the disputed South Ossetia region.

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an official statement termed the move a flagrant violation of international law.

The ministry said the "so called treaty" was an action directed towards the annexation of Georgia's territories and "inherently lacking validity and is devoid of any legal consequences."

Tbilisi said the treaty also violated Russia’s own commitments made under a ceasefire agreement in 2008.

Georgia called on the international community to pressure Russia over the issue.

Meanwhile, Vladislav Surkov, Russia's presidential aide, told the Russian news agency Itar-Tass that work on the new treaty between Russia and South Ossetia would complete by late January 2015.

The ministry further said the treaty contradicted the UN Charter, including Article 51, according to which Georgia was entitled to self defense against armed attack on its territories.

Georgia and the West had criticized a "strategic partnership" agreement between Russia and Georgia's breakaway region Abkhazia signed on Nov. 24, with Georgian Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili calling it a "step towards annexation."

In August 2008, Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgia's former head of state, failed to regain control of the area after Russia and South Ossetia’s separatists defeated a Georgian incursion into South Ossetia in a bloody five-day conflict.

South Ossetia is inhabited mostly by Ossetians who speak a language remotely related to Persian. Georgians account for less than one-third of the population.

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