Kokoity Visits Moscow, Speaks of South Ossetia's Policy

Civil Georgia, Georgia
June 1 2005

Visiting President of breakaway South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity said at
a news conference in Moscow on June 1 that during his current visit
in Russia he plans to discuss issues related with "South Ossetia's
integration [into the Russian Federation] and economic cooperation,"
with officials there, the Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies
reported.

At a news conference in Moscow Kokoity spoke about South Ossetia's
relations with other secessionist regions - Abkhazia, Transdnestria
and Nagorno-Karabakh - and predicted that South Ossetia may become
an internationally recognized state in 2007.

"Western politicians are inclined to recognize [the independence]
of South Ossetia, Kosovo and Nagorno-Karabakh," Kokoity said, adding
that after receiving international recognition South Ossetia will
seek to join the Russian Federation's North Ossetian Republic.

"But some international organizations are categorically against
this [accession into Russia] and are mounting pressure on South
Ossetia. These [international organizations] agree to consider the
recognition[of South Ossetia's independence], but not in the context
of its membership into the Russian Federation," Kokoity added.

The South Ossetian leader said that the resignation of Aleksander
Dzasokhov, the President of the Russian Federation's North Ossetia,
will not have any influence on relations between South and North
Ossetia.

He said that a meeting between the secessionist leaders of South
Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transdnestria and Nagorno-Karabakh may be held
within a month, but he did not specify the venue of this possible
summit.

"This meeting is of vital importance for our Republics and it will
definitely take place... We want to coordinate our policy and help
each other in strengthening our states; or, as democrats say, to
become free," Kokoity said.

At the news conference Eduard Kokoity also commented regarding the
recent clash between South Ossetian militias and Georgian police
on May 29, which resulted in the death of four South Ossetian men
and one Georgian policeman by calling this incident a provocation
masterminded by the Georgian side.

Kokoity also spoke about the agreement between Russia and Georgia to
close down Russian bases in Georgia in the course of 2008 and said
that he will welcome this decision only if this withdrawal "fosters
the positions of the two states [Russia and Georgia]."