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26 Aug, 2008 13:16

South Ossetian president: we deserve our independence

The president of South Ossetia has hailed Russia’s decision to recognise its independence and says the territory deserves it. In an exclusive interview with RT, Eduard Kokoity described the day as an historic event.

Kokoity said his compatriots have been working on the international recognition of South Ossetia for long 14 years.

In spite of massive support from the EU and the US, he said Georgia had found no argument in its dispute with its breakaway republic other than aggression and another wave of genocide against Ossetians. 

He added that his people were always in favour of a peaceful and civilised way of settling the conflict, but, except for Russia, he believes there is no other guarantor of peace and stability in the North Caucasus.

He described the day as a great holiday and an historical event for himself and his fellow countrymen.

To read the transcript of his interview follow the link.

Mr Kokoity hopes that all major forces of the world will choose the same approach and recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states. He claimed it was only a matter of time, as everything was made within the framework of international law. He described the day as one of victory over politicians with double standards.

Kokoity said the example of Kosovo independence, and the support it received on the part of the EU and the US, played a key role in the final recognition of the two Georgian breakaway republics, and restoring historical justice.

The South Ossetian president insists that, in spite of statements by Georgian officials, those Georgian nationals who live in his country are fully fledged citizens of South Ossetia.

He said South Ossetia deserved independence and knows how to protect it.

Kokoity now plans to get back home as soon as possible to be with his people, and celebrate the holiday in the republic’s capital of Tskhinval.

He says that he is aware that many countries will refuse to recognise South Ossetia, but believes many will be pursuing their own geopolitical interests. That is why he said South Ossetia is going to fully observe international law and international formats that exist.

In any case, he added, South Ossetia is a part of Europe, and is going to do everything to comply with those requirements applied by the EU – except for those of the policy of double standards.