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U.S. Criticizes South Ossetia Leader

South Ossetia President Eduard Kokoity said the breakaway republic may ask to join Russia (file photo) (epa) March 23, 2006 -- The United States today condemned a statement by the leader of Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia republic suggesting the region may ask to be recognized as part of Russia.

Julie Finley, U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, reaffirmed the United States' "unequivocal support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia."

In comments yesterday, South Ossetian separatist leader Eduard Kokoity said South Ossetia will lodge a petition with the Russian Constitutional Court because, he said, "there are historical documents about Ossetia's status as part of Russia."

South Ossetia, which has close ties with Moscow, forcibly won de facto independence from Georgia in the early 1990s.

Finley said Washington believed Russia could do more to help peacefully resolve the conflict.


RFE/RL Caucasus Report

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

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