March 27, 2006 -- The Joint Control Commission (JCC) in charge of monitoring the implementation of the 1992 Georgian-South Ossetian cease-fire agreement meets today in Vladikavkaz, the capital of Russia's republic of North Ossetia.
Georgia says it wants the two-day meeting to examine steps to further demilitarize the conflict zone and to discuss its own proposals to settle its sovereignty dispute with South Ossetia.
The JCC is made up of representatives from Georgia, Russia, South Ossetia, and North Ossetia.
Last week, South Ossetia's leader Eduard Kokoity said he would appeal to Russia's Constitutional Court with a view toward obtaining a ruling that his republic can merge with the Russian Federation. Georgia has dismissed Kokoity's statement, saying it should not be taken seriously.
South Ossetia forcibly won de facto independence from Georgia in the early 1990s.
(Civil Georgia, Novosti-Gruziya)
Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze (RFE/RL)
'NO OTHER WAY OUT': Georgia's parliament on February 15 called upon the government to review the 1992 agreement that put an end to the war with South Ossetia and secure the withdrawal of all Russian peacekeepers stationed in the separatist republic. Officials in Tbilisi have long accused the Russian soldiers of siding with the separatist forces and posing a threat to Georgia's national security. Russia has protested the Georgian vote, arguing that Tbilisi has no right unilaterally to amend the 1992 peace agreement. Georgia, in turn, says it has the right to do so.
RFE/RL's Georgian Service correspondent Nona Mchedlishvili asked former President EDUARD SHEVARDNADZE, who signed the agreement with his then Russian counterpart, Boris Yeltsin, to comment on the dispute....(more)
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