South Ossetia will never join NATO: Eduard Kokoity
19 Mar, 2007 18:02
The President of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, has said his country will not agree to become a part of Georgia under any circumstances, if Georgia enters NATO.
U.S. and Georgian officials confirmed that Georgia and Ukraine are following a path towards NATO membership. According to Mr Kokoity, Georgia's entry into the allaince would foster South Ossetia's ambitions for independence. ‘South Ossetia and Abkhazia will never become part of NATO. Such steps of the United States and such unreasoned policy from Mikhail Saakshvili more and more push the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia towards independence. We do not see ourselves in any form in any kind as a part of a NATO member state. This is not my personal position this is the position of our people’ the Ossetian President stated. The statement was made days before the Istanbul meeting of the Mixed Control Commission which is aimed at resolving the frozen conflict. South Ossetia has been de-facto independent since 1992, although it is not recognised by any state. According to its president, it was Russia that ensured security in the region during this time. ‘It is not because of the United States, it is not because of NATO member countries, but because of Russia that peace in the Caucasus region remains. And it is unpredictable what will happen there if this balance which was preserved because of Russia, is broken,’ Eduard Kokoity stressed.