MEETING OF GEORGIAN AND SOUTH OSSETIAN MILITARY YIELDS NO FRUIT

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TBILISI, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - The meeting in the Georgian village Eredvi of the Georgian and South Ossetian military has not yielded evident fruit. There, Georgian Defense Minister Georgy Baramidze and Chief of the General Staff Givi Iukuridze, South Ossetian Defense Minister Anatoly Barankevich tried to find out what was the armed group which provoked fierce fire each night in the Tskhinvali region in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone, RIA Novosti learnt from the Georgian Defense Ministry.

"The South Ossetian side abides by the cease-fire agreements while the Georgian side says it is permanently under somebody's fire. The South Ossetian side is suffering no losses, though attackers are expected to sustain more losses than defenders," Barankevich told Georgian journalists after the meeting.

In turn, the Georgian defense minister has called "stupidity" Barankevich's words that the Georgian positions are shooting at each other.

"We are firmly set to destroy the group firing at our positions," Baramidze said.

"We've not come to an agreement. The earlier planned joint operation to discover the unidentified group has also been put off. No date or place have been agreed upon," Iukuridze said.

In the meantime, a regular sitting of the Joint Control Commission for Georgian-Ossetian settlement has begun in Tskhinvali. Representing the Georgian side at the meeting, Georgy Khaindrava, state minister for conflict settlement, told journalists before it began that on the agenda will also be a date and a place for a meeting between Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania and Eduard Kokoity, President of South Ossetia (self-proclaimed republic in Georgia).

Now in Mozdok in North Ossetia, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told reporters that any other scenario, except political, for settling the Georgian-Ossetian conflict is fraught with unpredictable consequences.

"I think the situation in the conflict zone is alarming. Until it is settled by political and diplomatic means, agreements are reached on ceasing fire and pulling out all unlawful armed formations, the conflict will heighten and spiral upward," Sergei Ivanov said.

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