TSKHINVALI, Georgia, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- South Ossetia says it will become part of Russia and host Russian military bases under a new agreement.
The former province of Georgia will be absorbed into Russia, declared Trazan Kokoity, deputy speaker of South Ossetia's parliament in Tskhivali, only three days after Russia recognized the Georgian breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to be independent states, The Times of London reported Saturday.
Eduard Kokoity, South Ossetia's leader, said during talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that it would become part of Russia within "several years," the newspaper reported. The declaration will likely produce a backlash in the West, which was told Russia had entered South Ossetia only to protect it from Georgian aggression, The Times said.
The Russian news agency Interfax quoted unnamed military sources as saying Russia is planning to construct a pair of military bases in Abkhazia, while the province's foreign minister said earlier that an agreement with Russia on military forces would be signed soon. The Times said the Russian foreign ministry confirmed Medvedev had ordered it to prepare "mutual assistance" agreements with South Ossetia and Abkhazia.