Moscow moves to annex Tskhivnali region
By Messenger Staff
Thursday, December 25Since signing an agreement on Alliance and Partnership with Abkhazia, Russia intends to sign the same type of a document with the Tskhinvali region.
It has been revealed that cooperation will be deeper with regard to the latter, as Tskhinvali has requested to be part of Russia.
The Georgian government is appealing to the international community to keep alert and respond to this latest development. However, Western verbal support and deep concerns about Georgia’s territorial integrity have not convinced Russia to step back.
According to the draft of the agreement between Russia and South Ossetia, the de-facto region’s defense, security and law-enforcement structures will merge with the same bodies of Russia. The checkpoint at Roki tunnel, connecting the Tskhinvali region with Russia, will be closed as well.
The Russian President’s assistant in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Vladislav Surkov visited the de-facto region on December 22, where he met with de-facto President of South Ossetia Leonid Tibilov.
Following the meeting, it has been reported that an agreement between Russia and Tskhinvali will be signed at the end of January, 2015.
“Of course, it is not the right time for Russia, taking various sanctions against us into account, but we are ready for close cooperation,” Russia’s News Agency Res cited Surkov.
Tskhinvali-based political organizations support the region’s integration with Russia. However, they admit that public opinion differs.
“Some believe that we will lose our sovereignty through the document, others, including me, feel that we should fulfill the 1992 and 2006 referendum outcomes, which foresee the integration with Russia,” head of Tskhinvali’s Communist Party Stanislav Kochiev said.
Tbilisi officials state that any form of cooperation between the de-facto regions and Russia is an aggressive attempt to annex Georgian territory.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili states that after signing the treaty between Russia and Abkhazia, the international community was informed concerning the possible signing of the same type of a document with the Tskhinvali region.
“The memorandums are completely unacceptable for the international community,” Margvelashvili said, adding that conflicts should be solved through dialogue and the use of peaceful measures.
The documents obviously diminish the optimism regarding the regulation of relations with Russia voiced by the new government of Georgia after the 2012 parliamentary elections.