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Kremlin Says Putin To Sign Treaty With South Ossetia

The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to sign an "alliance and integration" treaty with the head of Georgia's Moscow-backed breakaway South Ossetia region on March 18.

In a statement on March 13, Putin's press service said he will meet with the head of the separatist government that controls South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov.

In addition to the treaty signing, it said Putin and Tibilov will discuss bilateral ties and "coordination in...the provision of stability and security in the Transcauscasus region."

Georgia has strongly condemned Russia over the planned treaty and a similar pact Moscow concluded with Abkhazia, another breakaway region of Georgia, last year.

Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations following Moscow's five-day war against Georgia in 2008, and maintains thousands of troops in the regions.

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