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SOUTH OSSETIA SKEPTICAL ABOUT TBILISI PEACE PROPOSALS

RIA Novosti

MOSCOW/TSKHINVALI, March 29 (RIA Novosti) - Tbilisi's latest proposals to settle the Georgian-Ossetian conflict are largely meant to get approval from the West, Boris Chochiev, co-chairman of the Mixed Control Commission and South Ossetian minister at large, said Tuesday.

"These proposals coincide word-for-word with Mikhail Saakashvili's statements in Brussels," Chochiev said.

"The main thing for Georgia is to convince Western countries that it is interested in peacefully settling the conflict and is making concrete steps in this direction. So far, all this remains on paper," he said.

"We are still not satisfied with Tbilisi's proposed status for South Ossetia as an autonomous area within Georgia. South Ossetia, as before, sees itself as an independent state," Chochiev said.

"In addition, if Georgia does want to settle the conflict, this has to be done, not through televised or Internet appeals, but through established forms, like regular Mixed Control Commission sessions," he said.

Commission members include, besides Russia and Georgia, North Ossetia/Alania within the Russian Federation and the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia.

"As to Georgia's promises to pay lump-sum monetary compensations to victims of the 1990-1992 conflict and fully undertake social obligations to the population of South Ossetia, to begin with, we advise to Georgia to create elementary living conditions for its own people," Chochiev said.

"Many in Georgia envy the people of South Ossetia that have no problems with wage payments and no erratic electricity supply," Chochiev said.



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