TSKHINVAL, August 2 (Itar-Tass) — The people of South Ossetia have always wanted to be reunited with the people of North Ossetia within Russia, speaker of the South Ossetian parliament Stanislav Kochiyev stated on Tuesday. “Time will show how best to do it. So far South Ossetia’s entry into Russia is not at issue. It all depends on the further steps of Russia. We, for our part, are ready to enter the Union State of Belarus and Russia, as well as directly merge with Russia as a subject of the Federation,” the RES news agency quoted Kochiyev.
According to him, the republic welcomes Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s statement on South Ossetia made on Monday. “You know the position of Russia, when the Georgian leadership resorted to military action, it (the Russian leadership) supported South Ossetia,” Putin said on Monday, talking to the Youth Forum Seliger 2011 participants. Answering a question whether the accession of South Ossetia to Russia is possible, the prime minister said that “the future will depend on the Ossetian people themselves.”
South Ossetians declared independence from Georgia in 1990, calling themselves the “Republic of South Ossetia.” The Georgian government responded by abolishing South Ossetia’s autonomy and trying to retake the region by force. This led to the 1991–1992 South Ossetia War. Georgian fighting against those controlling South Ossetia occurred on two other occasions, in 2004 and 2008. The last conflict led to the 2008 South Ossetia war, during which Ossetian separatists and Russian troops gained full, de-facto, control of the territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. In the wake of the 2008 South Ossetia War, Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru recognised South Ossetia as an independent republic.
Georgia does not recognise the existence of South Ossetia as a political entity, and considers most of its territory a part of the Shida Kartli region under Georgian sovereignty, occupied by the Russian army.