South Ossetia accuses Georgia of discriminating non-Georgian population

Eduard Kokoita, head of South Ossetia (an unrecognized republic on Georgia's territory) has accused the Georgian leadership of pursuing a discriminatory policy against the non-Georgian population of Georgia. Kokoita made this statement at a press-conference in Moscow on Friday.

To this day Georgia has not adopted the law on restitution of housing and property rights of refugees, having actually struck off from the agenda the question of compensations for damage done to South Ossetia during the Ossetian-Georgian conflict, said Eduard Kokoita.

"For more than ten years South Ossetia has been outside the jurisdiction of Georgia," declared Kokoita. He said that the slogan "With Georgia forever, in Georgia never" has become very popular in South Ossetia.

Kokoita said that over 60 percent of the population of South Ossetia are citizens of Russia, while the "remaining part of its population consider themselves to be Russian fellow-compatriots" (North Ossetia which neighbours on South Ossetia, is part of Russia.) Kokoita noted that "we expect that the total number of Russian citizens among the South Ossetian population will soon reach 98-100%.

The South Ossetian leader recalled that "back in 1992 the South Ossetian population expressed itself at a referendum for joining the Russian Federation." Kokoita said that the only possible way of settling the Georgian-Ossetian conflict are political negotiations. "The South Ossetian side consistently comes out for the development of the negotiating process," he stressed.

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