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South Ossetia to reunite with North, join Russia

world Updated: Sep 12, 2008 01:17 IST
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South Ossetia President said the Georgian breakaway province had plans to re-unite with North Ossetia and join the Russian Federation.

"Of course we will join Russia and this will be the restoration of historical justice, because the Ossetian people were partitioned against their will," South Ossetia President Eduard Kokoity said.

Speaking at the Valdai Forum of foreign experts on Russia, in Sochi, Kokoity said that Ossetia as a single state joined the Russian Empire in 1774, but it was partitioned by Stalin, a Georgian, and South Ossetia was transferred to the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.

"Re-unification of North and South Ossetia will resolve the problem of our divided nation, which has a humanitarian and not political dimension and the declaration of an independent Ossetia is not on the cards," Kokoity said in his televised speech at the forum, which over the years has become a club for East-West dialogue.

Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, N Ram, was also invited to join the elite group of foreign, largely western Kremlin watchers.

South Ossetia, which was recognised as an independent state by Russia following the August 7-8 attempt by Georgia to retake it after massive bombardment, seeks re-unification with Russian ruled North Ossetia to preserve its ethnic identity, culture and history, Kokoity underscored.

Leader of another breakaway region of Abkhazia, also recognised as independent by Russia and Nicaragua, ruled out accession to Russia.

"We would like to join the Russian-Belarus Union as an independent state as well as Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO)," Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh said.