It’s official: South Ossetian army now partially joined with Russian army
photo: Reuters, Kazbek Basayev
The Parliament of South Ossetia has ratified an agreement with Russia, providing for the entry of several South Ossetian military units into the Russian armed forces.
Most MPs voted in favor of the bill. Three abstained and one, Dmitri Tassoyev, came out against the measure, stating that the document would entail the collapse of the South Ossetian armed forces.
The agreement was signed in Moscow in March of 2017, and was an additional agreement to the Russian-South Ossetian Treaty on Alliance and Integration.
According to the South Ossetian Minister of Defense Ibrahim Gasayev, the agreement consists of the following: citizens of South Ossetia can now apply to serve by contract in the Russian armed forces; in the case of their acceptance, they will perform military service on the Russian base in Tskhinval according to Russian laws. Moreover, time spent serving in the Russian armed forces on such contracts will be considered as time spent serving in the armed forces of South Ossetia.
The republic is initiating reforms of its army taking into consideration that it will be divided and downsized into several divisions, said Gasayev. The transition into the new organizational structure will be completed within half a year.
Gasayev further said that Moscow is offering to increase the salaries and social benefits of those serving in the South Ossetian army.
D mitri Tasoyev, who was against the bill, stated that the agreement does not clearly describe the mechanism for the entrance of separate South Ossetian military forces into the folds of the Russian armed forces.
“We are losing our army,” he said, speaking to other MPs.
Dmitri Tasoyev recently became the subject of a parliamentary scandal in South Ossetia, when he publicly protested against what he thought were unacceptable conditions under which the new speaker of the parliament, Pyotr Gassiyev, had been elected. Tassoyev called the elections a ‘spit in [the face of] the people, a criminal deed, a forgery and a most cruel deception of the people’.
In response, the parliament handed him a vote of no confidence.
This time, Tasoyev indirectly supported three MPs who abstained from voting. All three of them are representatives of the National Party. They stated that they do not agree with several points in the agreement, and also pointed out that the [South Ossetian] MPs did not participate in the creation of the document.
One of them, Amiran Dyakonov, said in an interview with Echo of the Caucasus (Ekho Kavkazka), that in the original document which was discussed two years ago, it was proposed to transfer the entirety of the South Ossetian forces into Russian command.
But the ratified agreement provides for the individual application and processing of solders that desire to serve with the Russian armed forces. ‘This means that the South Ossetian divisions will dissolve’.
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