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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
The leader of Russia's North Ossetia, Taymuraz Mamsurov, is sympathetic towards the claims of Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia to become a part of the Russian Federation. In an interview published on a Russian website, he said that Georgia is currently carrying out a blockade of South Ossetia and is trying to destabilize the situation there, and he called on the international community to warn Georgia against taking any military action against South Ossetia. Mamsurov said good progress had been made in recent years towards developing relations between North and South Ossetia in the economy, trade, transport communications, energy security, industrial development and cultural exchange, but he criticized certain politicians outside Ossetia for pursuing national interests and trying to aggravate the situation over the return of forced migrants from Georgia and Ingushetia. The following is the text of the interview headlined "'At the basis of territorial claims lies an interest in power': An interview with the head of North Ossetia, Taymuraz Mamsurov", published on the Regnum website on 4 October; subheadings have been inserted editorially:
South Ossetia's aim to be part of Russia
[Regnum] South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoyty has said that his republic intends to request to become a part of Russia. Do you support his position? If matters of international law regarding South Ossetia's joining the Russian Federation are resolved, should it, in your opinion, form a single component of the federation with North Ossetia?
[Mamsurov] When Eduard Kokoyty talks about the South Ossetian republic becoming a part of Russia, he is being guided by the opinion of the people of South Ossetia, the vast majority of whom have Russian passports and are Russian citizens. This is a state of affairs which must be appreciated. Frequently Russian passports cause extreme irritation on the part of the Georgian authorities, and therefore from time to time various incidents, some of them serious, break out.
South Ossetia is currently preparing for a referendum on the question: should the South Ossetian republic become a sovereign state? South Ossetia's status must be determined on the basis of the expression of will of all its inhabitants. This will be a triumph of democracy in the same way as was recently demonstrated in Montenegro with the overall approval of the USA and Europe. Tens of thousands of people, observing the required rules of law, want to decide their own future. They have the right to determine their own destiny and to live as they wish.
Perhaps there is no reason why I should not be enthusiastic about the flourishing of democracy in Georgia, but who can explain to me what their perception of "democracy" is, when after a punch-up at the height of a parliamentary session, they throw into the street a head of state who himself came to power with the same hullabaloo, having banished his panic-stricken predecessor? Or is democracy just a referendum, an expression of the will of the people through a general ballot and the self-determination of a nation in accordance with international law?
Georgia blockading South Ossetia
I will remind you …