South Ossetia asks for International Recognition
Wednesday, 05 March 2008
South Ossetia Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia has called upon the international community to recognize its independence.
In the opinion of the parliament the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia, "the Kosovo precedent presents a convincing argument" for recognition of its own independence.

Later this week, Abkhazia, another pro-Russian territory attempting to break ties with Tbilisi, is expected to follow suit.
We spoke with Eduard Kokoity, the de facto president of South Ossetia, to explain the reasoning behind the parliament's measure.

"Considering the precedent created by the arguments that served as basis for the declaration of Kosovo's independence -- which was virtually created by the European Union -- it says that Kosovo should be recognized due to the impossibility of coexistence between Kosovo and Serbia within the same state," Kokoity said. "So we also want to announce that future coexistence between South Ossetia and Georgia within the same state is impossible."

The declaration argues that separatist South Ossetia has "all the necessary requirements and attributes" of a democratic and law-based sovereign state.

Georgia has dismissed the declaration, with State Minister for Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili saying that "the so-called South Ossetian parliament is not a legitimate body, and its declarations cannot have any consequences."

This is not the first time that Kosovo's recent declaration of independence from Serbia has been cited as a precedent for the independence of breakaway republics in the former Soviet Union. Both South Ossetia and Abkhazia have drawn the parallel numerous times, arguing that the approach should be employed in relation to their status as well.

And in the months ahead of Kosovo's declaration, Russia -- which along with South Ossetia and Abkhazia also backs Moldova's separatist Transdniester region -- was particularly vocal in arguing the "precedent" point.

Critics, however, argue that all separatist movements have their own unique circumstances, and thus the outcome of one cannot automatically apply to any other. 
Besides, for a separatist region to have a successful separation it must be backed by the US and or the EU.


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