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Separatist leader says to abolish taxes for Georgians in South Ossetia

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Monday, April 21
De facto South Ossetian president Eduard Kokoity, in an interview with the newspaper Sakartelos Respublika, proposed abolishing taxes for Georgians living in the South Ossetian conflict zone.

“I want to address the population in the Georgian villages of the conflict zone…the South Ossetian government releases them from land tax, water tax [obligations]—they should not pay tax to anyone,” he said.

He also promised other privileges to Georgian villages in the region, including cheap electricity.

“We are ready to supply all [Georgian] villages with electricity for the same price as the Ossetian population—RUB 1.20 instead of the RUB 2.40 they are paying now. In addition, if they officially recognize us we will provide them with flour at low prices too, which would cut the price of bread down to RUB 8–12 from the current RUB 20,” Kokoity said.

The de facto leader also said that Georgians would be eligible for natural gas at domestic Russian prices after a new pipeline goes online, and hit out at the Tbilisi-backed provisional administration of South Ossetia headed by Dmitry Sanakoyev.

“This garbage dump that is called an alternative government and is financed by the West…does not have any prospects and you can regard it as a dead project, but I should mention that it is a base for terrorism. All the terrorist acts that recently occurred in [South Ossetia] were organized by Georgian special forces,” the newspaper quoted Kokoity as saying.