The Russian Foreign Ministry said on March 26 that “the trace of two bloody terrorist acts in South Ossetia leads to Georgia.”
Two South Ossetian militiamen were killed in a blast in the village of Dmenisi on February 28 and on March 23 two men, a peacekeeper from Russia’s North Ossetian peacekeeping battalion and a South Ossetian security service agent, were badly wounded when their car exploded.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a press statement that both “terrorist acts” were organized by “professionals.” It said that in the first incident explosives concealed in a television set had gone off and in the second one explosives hidden in a package, which had been handed over to the two victims by ethnic Georgians, had gone off.
“The Russian Foreign Ministry calls on the sides in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict to show maximum restraint,” the statement said. “Negotiations in the framework of the Joint Control Commission need to be urgently resumed in light of the current explosive situation.”
Tbilisi recently announced its withdrawal from the JCC, saying it wanted to replace it with a 2+2+2 formula, which would see Russia’s North Ossetia being replaced by the Tbilisi-backed South Ossetian provisional administration and the inclusion of the OSCE and the EU. Moscow and Tskhinvali are against the proposal.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also backed the South Ossetian side’s proposal to hold a meeting between the South Ossetian secessionist leader, Eduard Kokoity, and President Saakashvili. “Direct top-level dialogue between Tbilisi and Tskhinvali would foster the search for real ways towards a solid resolution of the conflict,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “The Russian side reiterates its readiness to facilitate such a meeting.”