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14 Aug, 2008 11:09

“Nothing can stop our independence now” – breakaway republics

The leaders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia believe that Georgia’s botched military assault means they now have a better chance than ever of getting international recognition for their independence. Their respective leader

After the meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the two leaders of the breakaway republics held a news conference in Moscow (watch the media conference).

Abkhazian leader Sergey Bagapsh said: “As for our independence and our movement to that goal, no one can stop us. We have this goal and we will go for it together.”

They agree that they see no possibility for dialogue with Georgia.

“Georgia has only been independent for 18 years and it has already had seven wars with us,” Bagapsh said.

He also reminded journalists that on a number of occasions the breakaway regions had warned the world about Georgian plans.

“What happened in Tskhinvali and in South Ossetia is exactly what we had told you before,” he said. “We warned you. We had told you that Georgia would go to war. But we were told that Saakashvili is a great democratic person, he would never do that, he had promised that to the EU. All those promises turned into blood and the death of people in South Ossetia.”

Eduard Kokoity echoed the words of his Abkhazian counterpart and added: “The plan of attack on South Ossetia and Abkhazia had been developed carefully”. 

Also, addressing media representatives from the West, the South Ossetian leader asked: “Where were you during the first minutes of attacks on South Ossetia? Why did the representatives of the OSCE follow the representatives of the peacekeeping missions of Georgia? Why did they leave South Ossetia straightaway?”

According to Kokoity, the primary task now is to provide security.

“We have to reconsider the security zone,” he said. “As for the peacekeeping mission, no Georgian peacekeepers, who escaped in a foul and mean manner and who were also shooting at their Russian and Ossetian counterparts, will be present on the South Ossetian and Abkhazian territories.”

South Ossetia and Abkhazia sign peace plan

Eatlier South Ossetia and Abkhazia have signed the six-point peace plan, drawn up by Russia and France, aimed at bringing stability to the troubled region. Their respective leaders, Eduard Kokoity and Sergey Bagapsh, agreed to the plan during a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow.

The Russian President offered his support to the two breakaway republics and went on to criticise the countries which supplied weapons to Georgia.

“We need to establish a final legally-binding agreement on non-use of force that will be signed by sides of the conflicts under guarantees given by Russia, the European Union, OSCE or possibly under some other guarantees,” he said.

“I would like you to know and tell your people: Russia’s position hasn’t changed. We will support any decision on the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia made by their people in accordance with the UN Charter and other international conventions. We will not only support such decisions, we will guarantee their enforcement.”

The South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity thanked Russia for its efforts in helping guarantee its security.