Self-Declared Republic of “Southern Osetia” Elects a President

The Dilis Gazeti

(Georgian Press Digest. 19.11.01. Civil Georgia) – MP of Russian Duma Council, former first secretary of Southern Osetian regional committee of the Communist Party Anatoli Chekhoev said in the interview given to one of the Russian magazines: “Southern Osetia” prevents Georgia being an enemy of Russia from becoming a stronger state – struggle of Osetian people for their own as well as Russia’s interests played huge role in the fact that Georgian state was not established”.

The Dilis Gazeti assumes that the statement perfectly explains what role is given to frozen conflict of “Southern Osetia”, which in difference from Abkhazia, is almost forgotten.

“Almost nothing is done by the government to settle the conflict between Georgian and Osetian sides”, independent MP of Didi Liakhvi gorge Guram Vakhtangashvili states. He assesses it negatively that Russian Federation and its Autonomous Republic of Northern Osetia also participate in the negotiations between Georgia and “Southern Osetia”.

Presidential elections were held in the breakaway republic of “Southern Osetia” yesterday. It is said that Eduard Kotiev favored by Russia won the elections.

Official Tbilisi is very calm about the elections held in “Southern Osetia”. Georgian government considers the elections illegal but says it will cooperate with the “illegally elected” president, the Dilis Gazeti reports.

“Well, if we agree to settle the conflict peacefully, then we have to cooperate with the authorities actually having control over the processes”, the paper says.

The Dilis Gazeti blames Russia in making advantage of interests of ethnic minorities living in Georgia and used them for inspiring conflict in Osetia.

“Situation in “Southern Osetia” seems to be more stable than in Abkhazia nowadays but in fact the governmental authorities of “Southern Osetia” have more irreconcilable position than the Abkhazian government… From the economic point of view “Southern Osetia” is a more destructive factor for Georgia than Abkhazia for smugglings come to Georgia basically from that region”, the paper says.