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Georgia Blocks Road To South Ossetia Capital

Georgia's parliament has recommended that Russian peacekeepers leave Ossetia (file photo) (AFP) 20 February 2006 -- Georgian forces today blocked a major road leading to Tskhinvali, the regional capital of Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia.

The move came after South Ossetia on 19 February blocked a convoy of Georgian peacekeepers from traveling through Tskhinvali to the northern village of Achabeti, where Georgian peacekeepers are stationed.

Georgia said the movement was part of a rotation of its peacekeepers in the region.

South Ossetia broke from Georgia after a war in the early 1990s. As part of a 1992 agreement that ended the fighting, Russia, Georgia, and Ossetia each contribute troops to the peacekeeping force in South Ossetia.

Officials from South Ossetia's unrecognized government said the troops' rotation was illegal. A spokeswoman, Irina Gagloyeva, said South Ossetia will allow the Georgian troops through only if the Joint Control Commission (JCC) overseeing the peacekeepers' arrangement gives its agreement.

The JCC involves Russia, Georgia, South Ossetia, and Russia's southern republic of North Ossetia.

(, Caucasus Press, Interfax, AP)

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

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