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New 'For Georgia' Movement Meets in North Ossetia

VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia -- A Russian-wide organization called For Georgia has held its first meeting in the North Ossetian capital, RFE/RL's Echo of the Caucasus reports.

For Georgia Chairman Mindia Gulua told RFE/RL that the organization aims to restore trust between Georgians on the one side and Abkhazians and South Ossetians on the other. He said the movement, which was formed in March, excludes the notion of using force to restore Georgian control to its breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

But Gulua, a Russian-based businessman who has lived in Krasnodar for several years, said Georgians should not feel they must reconcile with the loss of the territories.

He added that For Georgia intends to initiate relations with the representatives of federal and regional authorities of Russia and to discuss socio-economic, educational, and cultural issues with them.

Gulua said many of the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Georgians living in Russia experience visa problems. He said For Georgia plans to meet with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in the near future to discuss visa-related issues concerning Georgian diaspora in Russia.

The For Georgia meeting was held in Vladikavkaz on May 27 and was welcomed by several North Ossetian officals.