Russia's first ambassadors to newly-independent South Ossetia and Abkhazia have taken up their postings as they formally presented themselves to the two states' Presidents on Tuesday.
Russia established diplomatic ties with South Ossetia and Abkhazia in September.
"The establishment of Russia’s diplomatic missions in Sukhum and Tshinval will undoubtedly contribute to relations between Russia and Abkhazia and Russian and South Ossetia in all fields, including the formation of the legal system and cooperation in ensuring security and stability in Abkhazia and South Ossetia," said a statement released by Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
The move follows the recognition of the two republics by President Dmitry Medvedev after Georgia launched a military offensive on South Ossetia in an attempt to regain control of the region.
Elbrus Kargiev became the Russian ambassador to South Ossetia and Semen Grigoriev took the post in Abkhazia.
The missions are due to open by February next year.