The Foreign Ministry of the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia protested against Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili's statement on the situation in the Tskhinvali region (the Georgian official name for the rebellious republic). Mr. Saakashvili made this statement yesterday in Batumi, Adzharian capital, Novosti-Georgia reports.
Mikhail Saakashvili "neglects all agreements achieved during the Georgian-Ossetian settlement. Such statements by Georgian top officials frustrate efforts of all sides involved in the peaceful settlement, undermine its bases and are aimed to aggravate the conflict," the South Ossetian Foreign Ministry said.
"Georgia's possible denunciation of the Dagomys agreement means the return to the war, which was stopped due to this very agreement," the Foreign Ministry stressed.
"If it is impossible to fly the Georgian flag in the Tskhinvali region under the existing agreements that were signed by Eduard Shevardnadze," Mr. Saakashvili said in an address to the newly elected Supreme Council of the Adzharian autonomous republic, "I am ready to withdraw from them and denounce these agreements." "We will not withdraw our Interior Ministry troops from Georgian villages in the Tskhinvali region," he continued. "We still remember the consequences of such actions in Gagra and Sukhumi," he noted. "If we leave them, they will be seized at once and we shall be forced to set up the border by Gori (capital of Inner Georgia, the district neighboring on South Ossetia)," Mr. Saakashvili said.