De facto President of Tskhinvali: we want direct dialogue with Tbilisi

De facto President of Tskhinvali Anatoly Bibilov says Tbilisi must sign a non-use of force deal with Tskhinvali before a direct dialogue is to take place. Photo: Reuters., 22 Feb 2019 - 14:17, Tbilisi,Georgia

De facto leader of Georgia’s eastern occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region Anatoly Bibilov says that his “country” wants a direct dialogue with Tbilisi, or such a dialogue to be mediated by Russia, Bibilov told the Russian media Izvestia.

We have always wanted such a direct dialogue. However, it depends on Tbilisi.  Herewith, we have our main demand. Before such a dialogue takes place, Tbilisi must sign a non-use of force agreement with us,” Bibilov says.

He also stated that the “most desirable guest”, Russian President Vladimir Putin, is invited to attend the celebrations in the summer in Tskhinvali,  which will be dedicated to the 11th anniversary of the recognition of the region as an independent republic by Russia on 26 August 2008, in the wake of the Russia-Georgia war.

Tbilisi says that it will not sign the non-use of force agreement with Tskhinvali as this means the recognition of the occupied area as an independent country.

Only Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria have recognised the two Georgian occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as independent republics since the Russia-Georgia war in 2008.

Venezuela has announced plans to revoke the recognition if Juan Guaido preserves power.