The secessionist authorities of South Ossetia, like their counterparts in Abkhazia, have said they will not cooperate with the Georgian State Ministry for Reintegration – formerly called the State Ministry for Conflict Resolution Issues.
“The South Ossetian part of the JCC [the quadripartite negotiating Joint Control Commission] will not cooperate with the [State] Ministry for Reintegration,” Boris Chochiev, chief South Ossetian negotiator in the JCC, said in remarks posted on the South Ossetian Press and Information website on January 29.
He, however, also said that Tskhinvali’s position did not mean that the South Ossetian side was ceasing its participation in the JCC. “We will cooperate with the Georgian part of the JCC. If the Georgian leadership wants to appoint as its co-chair of the JCC, let’s say, the minister of agriculture, we will continue cooperating with [the JCC].”
Abkhaz Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba said on January 28 that renaming the ministry had further reduced the chances of a resumption of talks. “We will not engage in any talks with this structure or with people representing this new ministry,” Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, quoted Shamba as saying.
Meanwhile, the Russian ambassador to Georgia, Vyacheslav Kovalenko, visited Tskhinvali on January 29, where he met with South Ossetian leader, Eduard Kokoity, the South Ossetian Press and Information Committee reported.