In another shift in position, the South Ossetian side refused to participate in talks planned for August 7.
“There will be no bilateral meeting on Thursday [August 7],” Eduard Kokoity, the secessionist leader, told Interfax news agency on August 6. “We are ready to hold talks in Tskhinvali, but only in the framework of the quadripartite Joint Control Commission.”
And Boris Chochiev, the chief South Ossetian negotiator, said on August 6: “A bilateral meeting will bring no results.”
He told Rustavi 2 TV by phone that the South Ossetian side had proposed holding a JCC session with the participation of Georgian, South Ossetian, Russian and Russia’s North Ossetian negotiators in Tskhinvali on August 9. Tbilisi has consistently refused to participate in JCC talks.
Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration and chief negotiator over conflicts, said on August 5 that a meeting between him and Boris Chochiev in the presence of chief Russian negotiator over South Ossetia Yuri Popov had already been agreed.
Popov has also confirmed that the sides were due to meet in Tskhinvali on August 7 in his presence. No representative from Russia’s North Ossetian Republic has been invited.
Late on August 5 the South Ossetian side denied a meeting had been arranged and said it would only agree to meet in frames of the JCC.
Early on August 6 the South Ossetian Press and Information Committee posted on its website remarks by Boris Chochiev, saying that the South Ossetian side had agreed to a meeting in Tskhinvali on August 7. He said it would be “a consultative meeting” in order to prepare for a JCC session.