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    SOUTH OSSETIA PREPARED FOR ANY DEVELOPMENTS IN GEORGIA-ADZHARIA RELATIONS

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    MOSCOW, March 16, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - South Ossetia has not mobilised its armed forces in the wake of the latest developments in Adzharia, but it is prepared to any turn-up, Konstantin Kochiyev, an adviser to the president of this self-proclaimed republic on Georgian territory, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

    "We are worried by the threats Tbilisi has been uttering with regard to the (Adzharian) autonomy throughout the year now," said Mr. Kochiyev.

    Mr. Kochiyev was positive that Georgia would eventually resort to peaceful methods of settling disputes with Adzharia and lift the blockade.

    Mr. Kochiyev compared Adzharia to a besieged fortress, in which people were mobilising psychologically.

    "It is possible to live in such conditions for a long time. We have survived and upheld our independence," said Mr. Kochiyev.

    However, sources in South Ossetia's Security Council report that the republic's military contingents were put on high alert. What is going on around Adzharia may well repeat with regard to South Ossetia, furthermore so the Georgian central government has already made militant statements in relation to Tskhinvali (South Ossetia's capital), Security Council Secretary Dzhemal Karkusev told reporters.

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