A treaty to link the economy and military of South Ossetia more closely to Russia's is spurring economic development in the self-proclaimed republic. Diane Hodges reports.
Construction is surging in Tskhinvali (skin-val-lee) the capital of the self-proclaimed Republic of South Ossetia. The area broke away from the Republic of Georgia after a regional conflict in 2008 that brought Russian tanks streaming over the borders of Georgia. While the conflict brought freedom for South Ossetia, it also devastated large areas of the new country. Now, rebuilding is picking up pace after President Leonid Tibilov signed an integration treaty with Russia. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PRESIDENT OF SELF-PROCLAIMED REPUBLIC OF SOUTH OSSETIA, LEONID TIBILOV, SAYING: "We, the leadership of the republic, took a decision and signed a very serious treaty with our strategic partner, the Russian Federation on alliance and integration, where the creation of the united defence outline is at the core of the treaty." The treaty will deeply integrate South Ossetia's military, economy, customs service and border guards with those of Russia. While the plan is expected to revitalize the area's economy, many western nations see it as the first step towards South Ossetia's annexation by Russia.