Following negotiations between President Dmitry Medvedev and his Abkhazian counterpart Sergei Bagapsh, an agreement was signed on Wednesday at the Great Kremlin Palace to establish a joint military base in Abkhazia.

The document lays down the modalities regulating the use of the base which is being set up in order to "jointly protect the sovereignty and security of the Abkhazian republic, as well as counteracting international terrorism". It also defines the use to be made of the grounds and other property, as well as the status of the staff and their families.

Inked for a duration of 49 years, the agreement can be automatically extended every 15 years.