A Russian peacekeeper at a roadblock in the conflict zone in South Ossetia (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
October 12, 2006 -- The four-party commission tasked with resolving the conflict in Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia region today begins two-day talks in the southern Russian city of Vladikavkaz.
The Joint Control Commission (JCC), made up of representatives from Russia, Georgia, South Ossetia, and North Ossetia, is set to discuss the current situation in the South Ossetian conflict zone and other conflict-resolution issues.
A Russian Foreign Ministry envoy, Yury Popov, called on October 12 for a joint settlement plan that would include proposals from the Georgian and South Ossetian leadership.
The JCC meeting comes amid heightened tensions sparked by Tbilisi's arrest of four Russian military officers it accused of spying.
In comments to a German newspaper, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ossetians consider themselves the historical victims of Georgian "genocide" and that Georgia is regarded in the region as a "mini-empire."
(Interfax, civil.ge, "Suddeutsche Zeitung")