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South Ossetia is engaged in territorial integrity issue2008-11-25 14:10
Theses so dear to Tbilisi are easily digested in South Ossetia. Now Ossetians are actively talking about territorial integrity and original lands.
The first sign was Perevi. South Ossetia considers this border village that in accordance with the map is located in the territory of Georgia its own. That is why it has become a real apple of discord. Before that Georgia continually demanded Russia to pull out its troops from there. But in early November Tbilisi stated that they had been replaced by "Ossetian separatists".
As a result Georgia's Foreign Ministry expressed resentment and accused Russia of ethnic cleansing encouragement and appealed to the international community in particular to the OSCE and UN to interfere in the situation.
South Ossetia's reply was unexpected: "Our troops have never crossed the Georgian border and are present only in the localities on the territory of South Ossetia, - Deputy Defense Minister of South Ossetia Ibrahim Gasseev stated. - Georgia repeatedly makes groundless statements. Indeed in Perevi village there is a checkpoint to prevent illegal wood exportation. But the village itself makes part of Javsky region of the republic to which the Georgian side has no relation. Georgia has totally lost itself in its own borders".
Then complete mapping confusion began. Georgia's Ministry of the Interior replied that Perevi had always been part of Sachkhersky district and does not belong to South Ossetia. Later South Ossetia's Press Minister Irina Gagloeva gave the following explanation of the situation: "There are two villages having one name - one on the Georgian territory, the other on ours. We do not make claims for the Georgian village and are not going to do any ethnic cleansing - this is not our style at all. And the military units have been brought into Ossetian Perevi to reinforce the frontier territory with Georgia".
"How come there are two Perevi villages? - Georgia State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili wonders. - At all times there has been only one, take a look at any maps. Mrs. Gagloeva could be mistaken as there are many mixed settlements in the district. A Georgian village ends and an Ossetian village starts or vice versa".