Russia’s President, Dmitry Medvedev, said on Monday that Moscow could only help breakaway South Ossetia to resolve its post-election crisis by sending mediators, but it was up to the parties to resolve the dispute.
“Situation in South Ossetia is developing in line with internal rules; I do not like it that they have quarreled there [in South Ossetia]. It, of course, happens, especially in small territorial entities. There are only several participants of this process, representing various clans, which periodically get into dispute,” Medvedev was quoted by the Russian news outlets as saying at a meeting with a group of supporters at the Gorki residence outside Moscow.
“They should themselves agree on how to rule their state – we have recognized South Ossetia as international-legal entity. Of course we are ready to help them in a form of presence of our mediators. Of course we will be doing that, but let them themselves agree and assume responsibility for the fate of this small, but proud people,” Medvedev said, adding that instead of “pointing the finger at Moscow, the both sides themselves should be taking responsible decisions”, otherwise “they will have problems.”
Moscow sent to Tskhinvali a Kremlin official to try to help resolve a dispute following the November 27 presidential runoff in which Anatoly Bibilov, a candidate openly backed by Russia and whom Medvedev publicly met a week before the polls, was defeated by an opposition candidate Alla Jioyeva. The runoff results, however, were annulled by the authorities in the breakaway region and repeat elections set for March 25, 2012, triggering the opposition’s street protest rallies.
Sergey Vinokurov, who is in charge of inter-regional and cultural relations with foreign countries at the Russian President's administration, is in Tskhinvali since November 30. Supporters of Jioyeva have openly accused him of siding with the authorities instead of mediating.
On December 5, the local news agency, Res, run by the breakaway region’s government, reported that protesters in Tskhinvali center drew up an appeal to the Russian leadership requesting them to pay attention to the role of some, unspecified Russian officials, who “are supporting illegal actions of the authorities” and who “are unwilling to listen and see a matter of fact.”
“Supporting illegal actions of the Republic’s authorities, who have demonstratively ignored the Constitution and who have lost the people’s confidence, causes bewilderment and gives reasons to various international forces for a revenge, which is not in the interests of either Russia or South Ossetia,” the appeal reads, adding that it “is not yet too late to look at the developments objectively”.
“Our people have not deserved such unfair attitude, which is demonstrated by representatives from Moscow,” it says, adding that these unspecified Russian officials are trying to win time for the South Ossetian authorities.
Meanwhile, incumbent South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity said on December 5, that the opposition was trying to stage kind of Orange Revolution.
“It won’t work here,” Kokoity said. “Ultimatums, threats won’t have any effect.”
It emerged on Monday, that the breakaway region’s Supreme Court will start discussing Alla Jioyeva’s appeal, requesting to annul the court’s earlier decision invalidating the November 27 runoff results, on December 6.
In a statement on November 30, the Russian Foreign Ministry called on the political forces in Tskhinvali “to respect” the Supreme Court’s ruling annulling the runoff results.