The so-called president of Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia, Anatoly Bibilov says they are ready for the dialogue with Tbilisi only if Georgia signs the agreement of non-use of force and recognizes the occupied region as an independent country.
De Facto S. Ossetia Voices Pre-Conditions for Dialogue with Georgia
By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, September 21
“South Ossetian republic is ready for discussions with Georgia's political leadership in case Georgia signs the memorandum on non-use of force and recognizes South Ossetia's independence," Bibilov said in an interview with the newspaper Izvestia.
The de facto leader also noted that Georgia has not signed a memorandum on the non-use of force and it is not going to do that
"It is clear that the US is exercising pressure on Georgia. This is clear and it is shown at the Geneva discussions," the so-called president added.
The non-use of force agreement has been one of the top issues of the Geneva International Discussions (GID), which represent the only format of an ongoing international dialogue between Georgia and Russia, held with Co-Chairmanship of the EU, UN, and OSCE, and with the participation of Georgia, the Russian Federation, the USA and the representatives of Georgia’s two breakaway regions, S. Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Georgia made a one-sided promise about the non-use of force in 2008 and demands the same from the Russian Federation. However, Russia, which claims that it does not consider itself a part of the conflict, wants Georgia to sign such agreements with its breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and recognize their “independence.” Such an initiative is unacceptable for the Georgian side so the agreement could not be reached so far.
Given the divergent positions expressed by the participants on a draft joint statement on non-use of force, the Co-Chairs proposed to continue working further on the matter at the 44th round of the GID, held in June 2018.
Official Tbilisi says that in order to reach agreement on non-use of force, first of all, Russia should fulfill obligations undertaken in the 2008 year when signing the ceasefire agreement with Georgia, which obliged Russia to withdraw its forces from the Georgian territories to the pre-war positions.
Given the divergent positions expressed by the participants on a draft joint statement on non-use of force, the Co-Chairs proposed to continue working further on the matter.
Russia recognized the independence of breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008, after the Georgia-Russia war, when it occupied 20% of Georgian territories. Since then, it is the only force which exercises power there and does not even let the international humanitarian missions to enter the regions.