SOUTH OSSETIA OUT TO JOIN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

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SOUTH OSSETIA OUT TO JOIN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Izvestia (Moscow issue), July 8, 2003, p. 3

Official position of the Russian leadership corresponds with the existing international standards. The Russian Federation respects territorial integrity of Georgia. All the same, Moscow understands that the population of South Ossetia aspires for membership in the Russian Federation because it does not feel safe and wants a better life.

It was in March that Kokoity first announced that he was working on the documents substantiating his republic’s membership in the Russian Federation. Kokoity asked Russia to up its peacekeeping contingent in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict area and offered the territory of South Ossetia for the Russian bases withdrawn from Georgia.

Moscow’s refusal to consider the application was met in Georgia with satisfaction. Nino Burdzhanadze of the parliament of Georgia said “she was happy” to learn of the decision of Moscow. The speaker added that Georgia was fairly nettled that leaders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia were frequent guests in Moscow.

The problems that exist in the relations between Russia and Georgia are actually more than mere messages or signals. Alarm claxons are a more fitting term. President of Kabardino-Balkaria Valery Kokov who was present when Kokoity was making his sensational statement threw additional oil to the fire. Kokov suggested that the non-recognized republic should strive first for the status of an associated and then a fully fledged member of the Russian Federation.

TERRORIST ACTS IN MOSCOW CHANGE THE PRESIDENT’S SCHEDULE OF INTERNATIONAL VISITS

Izvestia (Moscow issue), July 8, 2003, p. 3

The Kremlin reshuffled the presidential schedule yesterday. Postponement of the planned visits was met with complete understanding. Uzbekistan and Malaysia regard the war on terrorism as one of the most important international tasks.

Sources say, however, that the visit to Malaysia will take place in any case, probably before the end of the summer. The visit is much too important. Putin is expected to sign a contract for SU-30s worth almost a billion dollars. Secondly, Putin is out to bid adieu to Premier of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad, a patriarch of Asian politics. Both goals of the visit indicate Russia’s determination to solidify its positions in the region.

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