Moscow, May 16 (RFE/RL) -- Georgian and South Ossetian leaders signed a memorandum in Moscow today that could provide a framework for a final political settlement to the conflict between the two sides. The memorandum Measures To Ensure Security and Strenghten Mutual Confidence was signed in the Kremlin.
The signing followed talks between Georgian President Eduardo Shevardnadze, South Ossetian leader Lyudvig Chibirov, as well as Russian President Boris Yeltsin and president of the Russian republic of North Ossetia, Akhsarbek Galazov.
The document states that both sides should refrain from the use of force. They also pledge not to use any forms of political, economic or other pressure on each other.
Yeltsin said that the memorandum is the first major step to settle the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia.
The Georgian-Ossetian conflict began fifteen years ago when Tbilisi annulled the autonomous status of South Ossetia, which then declared independence.