Russia Will Absorb South Ossetia 'in Several Years'

'Separatist regimes ... cut off from reality,' Georgian official fires back
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2008 10:30 AM CDT
Ethnic Georgian Oliya Gudadze, 68, in her home village east of Tskhinvali, near the South Ossetia-Georgia border. Conflict earlier this month destroyed many homes, causing a humanitarian crisis.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Russia intends to absorb Georgia’s breakaway province of South Ossetia “in several years” or perhaps sooner, the speaker of the region’s parliament tells AP. In meetings this week in Moscow between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and South Ossetian leader, Eduard Kokoity, the intent was “firmly stated by both leaders,” the speaker added.

A Kremlin spokeswoman said today she had “no official information” on the plan, which could also include several Russian military bases in the region, per a deal to be unveiled Tuesday. “The separatist regimes of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the Russian authorities are cut off from reality,” the vice speaker of that country’s parliament said, referencing the other breakaway region at the center of Georgia’s conflict with Russia.