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South Ossetia To Introduce New Passports

TSKHINVALI -- The leader of Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, says that by the end of this year "citizens of South Ossetia" will be issued new internal passports, travel documents, birth certificates, diplomas, and other documents, RFE/RL's Echo of the Caucasus reports.

Kokoity said the new documents -- designed to replace official Georgian documents -- have been ordered and will be printed soon. He added that they will be manufactured using the most modern technology, and that it will be "practically impossible to forge them."

The current passports of citizens of Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia are recognized by Russia. According to agreements signed earlier this month, South Ossetians will be able to travel to Russia with internal identification cards as of March 1.

South Ossetia unilaterally declared its independence from Georgia in 1990. Besides Russia, only Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Nauru have recognized it as an independent state.