President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia is to place a permanent military base in Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia, another separatist-held part of Georgia, declared independence after the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. Thousands of Russian troops are thought to have remained in the Moscow-sponsored republics, which Georgia and the West consider sovereign Georgian land.
Medvedev said at a news conference with Abkhazia's de facto leader on Wednesday that an agreement was signed to allow a Russian military base to operate there.
No time frame on the construction of the base, which is sure to redouble Moscow's tensions with Tbilisi, was given.
The Associated Press has contributed to the report.
The Russian army is to test a new version of the Tupolev Tu-160M White Swan strategic missile carrier with the upgraded wing geometry