Russia believes the Georgian-Ossetian problem should be solved in compliance with the principle of territorial integrity of states, says the commentary of the press and information department of the foreign ministry concerning the South Ossetian (the self-proclaimed republic on the Georgian territory) address to Russia with a request to join it.
"The desire of South Ossetian citizens, the greater part of whom are of Russian origin, is understandable. But the problem should be solved, and Russia repeatedly stressed this, in compliance with the international principle of territorial integrity of states," the ministry points out.
"There are many variants of the solution but all of them should be used only within the framework of the political process, on the basis of confidence-building measures between the sides," the document says.
The commentary stresses that Russia, has played the main role in the settlement since the beginning of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict.
"Due to Russian efforts bloodshed ended, and as a result of signing an agreement on principles of settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict by Russian and Georgian leaders in June 1992 the problem began to be solved politically," the department noted.
The Russian foreign ministry recalled that the mixed control commission, which was created in compliance with this document, began solving practical problems of the conflict.
"Peaceful talks began between the sides with Russian mediation which included a political element of the settlement process," the report says.
In particular, it was on the initiative of Russia that a Memorandum on measures to ensure security and strengthen mutual trust was worked out and signed in May 1996 in the Kremlin. The mixed forces on maintaining peace are conducting a peaceful operation, with a Russian battalion being a backbone, the commentary specifies.
"The Russian command of the mixed forces reveals self-control in conditions of the aggravated situation in its efforts to achieve the fulfillment by the sides of agreements they reached. It can be said without exaggeration that it is precisely due to Russian peacekeepers and mixed forces command that shooting has not begun in the conflict zone, although tension is often very great, the press and information department's report says.
"Russia will continue to fulfill the responsible role of a mediator in the settlement of this conflict, being guided exclusively by the interests of preserving peace and stability in the region and in the Caucasus as a whole," the Russian foreign ministry stressed.