Moscow, Tskhinvali concerned about Tbilisi military activity

Moscow and Tskhinvali are concerned about the activity of the Georgian side, which can be regarded as military preparations, sources from the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday after a telephone conversation between Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and Eduard Kokoity, President of Georgia’s breakaway republic of South Ossetia.

According to the sources, they expressed the same stance on "an aggravating situation in the zone of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict, which demands emergency measures to reduce the level of an armed opposition of the sides".

"They expressed concern over the activities of the Georgian side directly at Tskhinvali, which can be regarded as military preparations," the sources stressed.

"Karasin informed the interlocutor on the work of the Russian Foreign Ministry with the Georgian side with an aim to prevent a new spiral of tensions and leave behind the state of confrontation, which has persisted between the sides after the shelling of Tskhinvali late on August 1," the sources informed.

"With due regard for all circumstances, Moscow considered it as necessary to send in the region Ambassador at Large and Co-Chairman of the Joint Control Commission for the settlement of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict Yuri Popov," they said.

Reports said early on Thursday the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali once again was the target of an artillery attack from the Georgian side.

The shelling of South Ossetian populated localities comes from the side of the Georgian settlements of Erkneti and Nikozi. Reports say seven people have been wounded. Small arms, grenade launchers and mortars were used.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 07Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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