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. (Read more Russia stories.)