President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree creating a new directorate in his office that will be responsible for Russia's social and economic relations with the member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well Georgia's separatist-led regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia after fighting a brief war with Georgia in 2008.
Moscow has troops stationed in both territories and maintains deep political and economic links with the separatists.
Most of the rest of the world continues to view the two territories as part of Georgia.
Putin's administration announced that Yury Voronin, a former Health Ministry official, has been appointed the new directorate’s head.
It was not immediately clear what specific responsibilities the new directorate will have.
Based on reporting by Interfax and Regnum