No movement was recorded at the eagerly awaited talks, scheduled for July 23 and 24, on settling the South Ossetia conflict. Held in Vladikavkaz, capital of the Russian Federation’s republic of North Ossetia, the talks were said by some reports to have adjourned after the first day. An agreement in principle to resume the supply of natural gas to South Ossetia from Georgia and jointly restore power transmission lines in the region appeared to be the main result of the session. There was no word on a possible agreement to repatriate Georgian refugees or on a meeting between Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze and South Ossetian Supreme Soviet chairman Ludvig Chibirov. Russia, Georgia, and South and North Ossetia are the parties to the talks, facilitated by the OSCE’s Georgia mission. (Interfax, Itar-Tass, July 22 through 24)
On July 22 Shevardnadze expressed his hope that the session would produce significant progress on the refugee issue and on defining South Ossetia’s political status as an autonomous part of Georgia. (Russian "peacekeeping" troops, assisted by one Georgian and one South Ossetian battalion, enforce a ceasefire dating back to 1992) The reported outcome would be a grave disappointment to Shevardnadze.
Tajik Minister Admits to Major Breach of Armistice.