Russian Journalist: Return of so called South Ossetia to Georgia
10 February, 2011
Russian Journalist: Return of so called South Ossetia to Georgia

Some experts think Kremlin palpates public views

Russian journalist Aleksandr Prokhanov asserts that Russian Authorities plan to return so called South Ossetia to Georgia. Some political experts think talks on return of so called South Ossetia lacks any sense. Others believe Russia wants to stabilize its position in the South Caucasus and they do not rule out that this information is intended to assess the reaction of the public.
The journalist appeared in the program Osoboe Mneniye of Radio Station

Ekho Moskvi and talked about the current state of affairs between Georgia and Russia. He revealed that the Kremlin is attempting to find a replacement for Kokoiti and make him accept possibility of establishing confederative ties with the rest of Georgia.
As the reader may know, in November of this year Tskhinvali will hold presidential elections. Kremlin is searching for a weak person to replace the self-proclaimed president Kokoiti so that the new president agrees to sign an agreement between South Ossetia and the rest of Georgia,” Prokhanov says.
He claims that this sort of extravagant, liberal project is being seriously considered by the Russian Authorities as the way of ultimate ousting of Saakashvili in favor of his opposition.
“Realization of this scheme would start in the coming summer. I believe the Kremlin will begin to lobby the future Kokoiti replacement from this very summer onwards,” Prokhanov adds.
According to him, this plan of Russia regarding South Ossetia would be absolutely incompatible with the position of Russian patriots and if the Kremlin really gets down to implementing it, it would be viewed as an act of violence committed against Russian and Ossetian peoples. Prokhanov feels sad that Kremlin liberals are working on the plans to secede the Caucasus region from Russia.
A part of Georgian experts think that Russia has absolutely no plans to give so called South Ossetia back to Georgia. Other Georgian experts suggest that these radio statements may represent an attempt of intentional leakage of info to check the public opinion.
“Prokhanov is a person who sometimes serves simultaneously as a conduit and opponent of Kremlin’s course. Even though he is seen as a neo-Bolshevik, it does not interfere with his method of criticizing both Authorities and liberals. Nonetheless, his newspaper is quite authoritative. This can be artificial whistle-blowing to ascertain public attitudes generally in the Caucasus and particularly in Tskhinvali and Tbilisi. Russia is in a great predicament. They will have to forget violence and use only balanced policy,” – this is a viewpoint of another group of experts.
Conflict specialist Paata Zakareishvili dismisses any possibility of South Ossetian return as utopian. He alleges that the Kremlin is trying to exploit so called South Ossetia instead of returning it.
“This information misses the real target with a large margin. This sort of talks about the return of so called South Ossetia may actually start some 5-10 years later when Russia hopefully understands that it cannot control the situation any longer. Today it needs to exploit so called South Ossetia, build military bases, develop infrastructure and grab properties,” – this is yet another opinion in the expert  circles.

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