South Ossetia 'will become Russian'

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The Independent Online

Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia said today it will eventually become Russian territory.

The country's parliamentary speaker Znaur Gassiyev said that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the region's leader Eduard Koikoty discussed the future of South Ossetia earlier this week in Moscow.

Moscow has recognised South Ossetia and another separatist region of Georgia as independent, drawing criticism from the West.

Mr Gassiyev said today that Russia will absorb South Ossetia "in several years" or earlier. He said that position was "firmly stated by both leaders."

His deputy, Tarzan Koikoti, added that South Ossetians have the right to reunite with North Ossetia, which is part of Russia.