The Moscow session of the mixed control commission for the Georgian-Ossetian settlement has been postponed at Georgia's request, Georgian Minister State Minister Georgy Khaindrava told the Rustavi-2 TV company by phone.
"The session will be held after Ossetia's release of three detained officials of the Georgian State Security Ministry. If this demand is not fulfilled the session will have no sense," Mr. Khaindrava said.
South Ossetian Minister at large Boris Chochiyev, representative of this self-proclaimed republic in the mixed control commission, confirmed the information on the session's postponement.
The session was postponed by the Georgian initiative and by South Ossetia's consent, head of the South Ossetian information and press committee Irina Gagloyeva told RIA Novosti.
A session of the emergencies staff on the situation in the Tskhinvali region (the Georgian name of the self-proclaimed republic) opened in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict area on Wednesday, June 30, the Novosti-Georgia agency quoted the Mze TV company as saying.
According to Mze data, the South Ossetian side released three Georgians (a policeman and two doctors) who were kidnapped from the Pronsky Gorge yesterday. Long negotiations resulted in the release of the detainees. A task force officer arrested by the South Ossetian police was set free, as well. However, the South Ossetian side did not return weapons of the detainees, Mze reported.
By the end of this week the Georgian State Security Ministry will work out a new strategy on the Georgian-Ossetian settlement. This program will be considered by the National Security Council and confirmed by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.
The period of 1989-1992 saw the most critical stage of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict. South Ossetia proclaimed sovereignty after Georgia deprived it of its autonomous status and held several punitive actions in its territory. Peacekeepers were deployed in the conflict area in 1992. After the recent power shift in Georgia the conflict started aggravating.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building