Leader of breakaway South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov, said he has offered Moscow to consider region’s deeper integration into Russia, including possible full accession of South Ossetia into the Russian Federation.
Tibilov said that a planned new treaty with Russia, which is scheduled to be signed in the beginning of 2015, should take into account possibility of such deeper integration.
“I have proposed the planned treaty to be considered in a range from direct accession of South Ossetia into Russia to other forms, which currently exist in the world – there are many forms of political co-existence of states. I think we will soon receive a response [from Moscow] on this issue,” Tibilov was quoted by Tskhinvali-based official news agency, RES, on December 10.
Asked about Tibilov’s remarks, in particular on possible “range” of integration from associated partnership to accession into the Russian Federation, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Alexander Lukashevich declined to comment, citing that he’s not aware about the details.
Lukashevich also said at a news conference on December 11 that like in case of Abkhazia, with whom Moscow signed treaty on “alliance and strategic partnership” on November 24, new agreement with South Ossetia will not be directed against any third country.
Tibilov said on December 10 that consultations about new treaty have already been launched with Moscow; the issue, he said, was also discussed with Kremlin official Oleg Govorun, who has recently visited Tskhinvali. Govorun is head of Russia’s presidential directorate for social and economic cooperation with the CIS-member countries, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“South Ossetia is facing certain threats and challenges. The Georgian side, despite change of government there, has not changed anything in its aggressive policy; active rearmament of Georgian armed forces is underway. South Ossetia and Abkhazia still remain the targets of possible attack by Georgia,” Tibilov said. “As the head of the state, it is my duty to create conditions to ensure that our future generations live in safety.”
Georgian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Davit Kereselidze, condemned Tibilov’s “destructive” remarks and said on December 11 that Moscow was behind Tibilov’s statement about South Ossetia’s possible accession into the Russian Federation.
Commenting on Tibilov’s remarks, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said on December 11: “Neither will the treaty signed with Tskhinvali strengthen Russian Ruble, nor will it increase oil prices. These problems won’t be settled through signing the treaty with Tskhinvali.”
Calls for joining Russia were frequently heard from Tskhinvali before the August, 2008 war; the issue was emerging time after time since then. Anatoly Bibilov, whose United Ossetia party won majority of seats in breakaway South Ossetian parliament in June, and who was elected as speaker of the legislative body, was running a pre-election campaign on the promise of holding a referendum on joining the Russian Federation, but no such vote has yet been scheduled in the breakaway region.