Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov joined yesterday the campaign for South Ossetia’s reviving. Luzhkov laid a foundation stone in the future cottage village built in ex-Georgian enclave in South Ossetia. On the same day at the closed meeting, Luzhkov and South Ossetia’s President Eduard Kokoity deliberated on constructing a new railway that will emerge as an alternative to Roki Tunnel and speed up South Ossetia’s integration into Russia.
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov that arrived in Tskhinvali yesterday told reporters about his South Ossetian plans in time of his visit to North Ossetia. According to Luzhkov, Moscow will fund the construction of a cottage village in Tskhinvali “as a token of profound sympathy with the people that suffered from aggression of Saakashvili and his regime.”
In an effort to cut expenses, the enterprising mayor suggested using Georgia’s military infrastructure in the northern outskirts of Tskhinvali (Tamarasheni-village) for warehouses. “The military had occupied these premises. And in this respect, we, as a peaceful state, will beat swords into ploughshares,” the mayor vowed.
Luzhkov set to beating the swords Thursday. On the central square of Tskhinvali, he blessed Eduard Kokoity for workmanship and presented his famous cap to him. In return, Kokoity endowed the mayor with Ossetia’s hat of white wool. Neither of them put on the presents. Then Luzhkov and Kokoity headed for empty and deserted Tamarasheni, where the mayor laid a foundation stone.
Also on yesterday but without the journalists, Luzhkov inspected the site of Russia’s future military base near Tskhinvali. It will be located near the new cottage village, on the soil of Georgia’s enclave. A motor rifle brigade will be formed on the basis of the 58th Army’s regiment that arrived already and set up a tent camp.
What’s more, Luzhkov and Kokoity discussed a project of a new railway that “should become an alternative to Roki Tunnel and connect South Ossetia and Russia.” In essence, the railway will materially ease South Ossetia’s integration into Russia. Nowadays, both countries are linked by a narrow Roki Tunnel, which could be blocked by Georgia.