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South Ossetia sticks to “maximal integration” with Russia course - official

January 17, 2014, 13:55 UTC+3 TSKHINVAL
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Banner: Respect the people's choice [Archive]

Banner: Respect the people's choice [Archive]

© AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev

TSKHINVAL, January 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Whatever may result from June’s parliamentary election in South Ossetia, the republic’s course for integration with Russia would remain unchanged, South Ossetia’s Minister of Emergency Situations and United Ossetia party leader Anatoly Bibilov told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“There are now no political forces in South Ossetia that would openly declare their striving not for Russia but in any other direction like Georgia or the EU,” he said. “There are no reasons to assume that when one or another party wins in the election, the republic will change its present course for maximal integration with Russia.”

But Georgia’s interest in taking control over South Ossetia could not be discounted, he warned.

“This is stipulated in the national security concept of that country. The idea resounds in statements of any Georgian politician,” Bibilov said. Georgia had refused to sign the document on no use of force, and moreover, some politicians of the newly elected authorities tended to justify [former president] Saakashvili’s actions in 2008, he added.

“Obviously, Georgia banks upon the so-called peace settlement of the issue”, which required pressure on South Ossetia’s domestic policy, Bibilov said.

Such attempts had taken place in 2011 and were also possible ahead of the parliamentary election in South Ossetia, Bibilov said, adding that he did not believe they would be successful.

The current parliament's term of office expires in May. Fourteen parties are eligible for participation in the forthcoming election.

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