Thursday, September 11, 2008
South Ossetia’s separatist leader has said his breakaway region will become part of Russia.
Speaking in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity told reporters: “Yes, we will be part of the Russian Federation.
“We will do it according to the norms of international law.”
Mr Kokoity was reiterating his longstanding position following Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another rebellious Georgian province, as independent states.
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
Russian troops crushed an attempt by Tbilisi to retake South Ossetia by force last month, drawing widespread international condemnation and prompting concern over the security of energy supplies through the region.
Mr Kokoity said: “Now we are an independent state and we look forward to uniting with North Ossetia and joining the Russia Federation.”
South Ossetia borders North Ossetia, a region inside the Russian Federation, and broke away from Georgia’s rule after a separatist war in the 1990s.
Russia and Nicaragua are the only states that have recognised its independence.
South Ossetia is a territory of around 1,500sq miles and has a population of roughly 70,000.
Meanwhile, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has accused the US of fomenting unrest in the Caucasus and emboldening Georgia to launch an attack on South Ossetia.
This article was posted: Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 11:46 am