From Russia, with regrets

Russia cannot accept South Ossetia because this would violate international law, says Sergey Utkin, a political expert with the Institute of World Economy and International Relations based in Moscow.

“We have two political elites, of South and of North Ossetia, and these elites do not really want to merge as one,” Utkin argues. “They are in close alliance but still separate.”

He goes on to explain that that is why the situation in the Caucasus resembles the situation in Northern Cyprus, which for decades has only been recognized by Turkey

Meanwhile, the ongoing tension between Russia and Georgia also contributes to the tense situation in the region.

Nevertheless, Utkin believes that “it will take decades to get Georgia and Russia to talk again and have a dialogue. But that’s inevitable. We co-exist in this region and Russia and Georgia should be able to come to terms again.”