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South Ossetia sees itself as an ally2010-09-09 17:04
The statements of South-Ossetian leaders about their desire to join the Union state of Russia and Byelorussia caused an ambiguous reaction among political elites of the two countries and the entire post-Soviet space. However, this step may lay the foundation of a new line of South-Ossetian foreign policy.
President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity has had a talk with State Secretary of the Union state Pavel Borodin about joining this supranational institution. "We discussed the issues of cooperation with the Union state of Russia and Byelorussia. Of course, we also discussed the prospect of South Ossetia's entering into the Union state. We did not fix any terms but discussed the prospects of our collaboration, joint projects that would encourage the economical development of South Ossetia", - head of the republic underlined.
A well-known Russian expert, Deputy Head of CIS Countries Institute Vladimir Zharikhin took the statement of the South-Ossetian leader quite critically. "To let South Ossetia join the Union state of Russia and Byelorussia, it is necessary for Minsk to recognize the republic's sovereignty, at least. So far, there is no such outlook. The same is about any other associations in the CIS territory. If they comprise even one country that hasn't recognized South Ossetia's independence, it will mean a closed door for Tskhinal, - the expert said in his interview to GeorgtiaTimes correspondent. - Kokoity's statement should be taken as confirmation of his desire to be closer to Russia".
According to him, at present, Tskhinval has actually got nothing to join: "The Union state of Russia and Byelorussia is presently undergoing a serious crisis. It is not yet completed and there is no development - the supranational bodies of the state haven't been set up yet".
The pessimistic attitude towards South Ossetia's entrance in the Union state is understandable. The republic, which sovereignty was recognized by four UN members, is currently in a suspended position. There has been no global recognition, and entrance in Russia and affiliation with North Ossetia isn't obviously the next step either, for such scenario would again give Mikheil Saakashvili and his henchmen a reason to shout from the housetops about the sinister Russian bear that bit to death the proud Georgian eagle in August 2008. Entering the streets of Tskhinval with the idea of getting back under the "caring" wing of this very eagle would be too cruel an advice.
Being at a crossroad, South-Ossetian authorities seemed to have lost courage. The foreign policy mess was aggravated by domestic problems. Despite the huge sums of money meant for the reconstruction of South-Ossetian infrastructure, which allocation was repeatedly stated by Russian top-rank officials, many citizens of Tskhinval, not to mention smaller and less meaningful locations of RSO, have got no houses for two years already.
However, lately, the situation in the South-Ossetian state has taken a positive turn. It looks like the financial aspect of construction of houses and communications destroyed during the Georgian aggression in 2008 is being put in order. Besides, the process is followed by numerous legal actions in respect of contractors and dishonest officials, the majority of which, by the way, have come from Russia.