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A meeting in Kazbegi2013-05-08 14:22
When in February, the Georgian experts visited Vladikavkaz, Tskhinval accused Tbilisi of trying to drive a wedge between the North and South Ossetia. Today, on the eve of the Victory Day North Ossetian and Georgian veterans met at the border of Russia and Georgia. South Ossetian participants of the Great Patriotic War were absent. But Tskhinval residents are in no hurry to raise a claim - they value common history and are separated from modern politics.
Yesterday, veterans of the Great Patriotic War from Northern Ossetia, Armenia and Georgia met in the neutral zone between the checkpoints "Lars" and "Kazbegi". Contrary to all the complexities of the Ossetian-Georgian relations, a solemn ceremony at the bunker that kept defense in the Transcaucasia was held in a warm and friendly environment, one of the organizers Ahsarbek Tsopanov, 75-year-old chairman of the veterans of the Border Service of the Russian Federal Security Service in the RSO told GTimes.
"The delegation went from here in full force - veterans of the Border Guard, veterans of war and labor, representatives of public associations "Erebuni," "Ertoba," "Sharon," "Our Ossetia," and "Rus." In total about 30 people. Delegations from Armenia and Georgia, unfortunately, arrived not in full force and with a delay. They laid flowers at the place of the pillbox during the Great Patriotic War on the Georgian Military Highway, at the Cross pass. They greeted each other. Then they moved closer to the Russian territory, installed a tent and banquet tables. A live band also came from there. They sang us songs, and we raised glasses and once again congratulated each other, sat up till 4 pm and departed. We handed the guests small gifts and souvenirs. The meeting was held in a friendly manner," Ahsarbek Alikhanovich described the meeting.
Last year, at the same place and at the same hour Ossetians failed to wait for the Georgian guests, although earlier delegation of veterans from Vladikavkaz visited Tbilisi. But last time the veterans of South Ossetia attended the meeting, and now they were absent.
When in February this year a group of Georgian experts under the supervision of MGIMO Nicholai Silayev visited North Ossetia and other republics of the North Caucasus this visit caused concern of the South Ossetian experts and upset the authorities of Tskhinval. Journalist Yuri Beteev compared the the uninvited guests Shota Aphaidze, George Gvimradze and George Kanashvili with Greek gifts. Their task, in the opinion of the expert, was an attempt to enter "the confidence of the Russian leadership and the people of the North Caucasus." "They are persuading the peoples of the Caucasus for the third year - I'm talking about the issue of the recognition of the Circassian genocide and the opening of casino in the Kazbegi region of Georgia right on the Ossetian graves. Georgian history has shown that they can be very flexible to achieve their goal," Beteev said in an interview to the IA Regnum.
President of the Republic of South Ossetia Leonid Tibilov considered the February visit of the Georgians to Vladikavkaz as an attempt to "drive a wedge" between North and South Ossetia. Parliament of South Ossetia offered to make up own "Magnitsky list" in order to prevent visits of the people close to the official Tbilisi to North Ossetia under the guise of friendly Georgian public organizations. After all, along with the promise of the new Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to improve relations with Russia, in Geneva Georgia continues refusing to sign an agreement on non-use of force against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, fearing thereby to indirectly recognize their former territories the independent states.