Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Window on Eurasia: South Osetia Must Join Russian Federation ASAP, North Osetia Mufti Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 20 – Hajimurat haji Gatsalov, the mufti of North Osetia, says Russia and Osetia must “not miss the historic chance” created by Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and more quickly to unite the two Osetias into a single federal subject of the Russian Federation as because “the national and cultural social-unity of the people must correspond to one territorial space.”

            In a 4400-word interview published today by APN.ru, the mufti says that those who oppose what Moscow has done in Crimea are not just “geopolitical” opponents but “ideological” ones as well, who are offended by the very existence of Russia, “a self-evident moral defect” (apn.ru/publications/article31608.htm).

            Gatsalov said that what is taking place in Ukraine is nothing less than a battle between “the forces of Good and Evil”and that “our opponents are outside of time and outside of geography.”  Consequently, the mufti said, “there cannot be peace” between Russia and those who are working against it.

            In his words, “Russia is not simply a state and its people; it is an idea ... Russia experienced the most difficult times and rose again. And our ideological opponents understand” what is happening. “The awakening of Russia generates hysteria and fear among them” because”Russia by definition and history is a Victor Country.”

            NATO’s actions lack “any manifestation of human sympathy,” Gatsalov says. “The actons of Ukrainian politicians, ultras, and part of the citiens of a disintegrating country are defined by one word – the rule of the possessed ... [Such a society] does not have any prospects just like the state which gave birth to this society.” Behind Ukraine are “dark forces.”

            After continuing in this same vein, the mufti asks whether the time has not come for Russia to stop supplying gas to Europe. And he suggests that if now “Russia will be able to refrain from direct interference” in Ukraine now, “then in the second act, it will have the chance to take under its control all the regions adjoining it,” a step both “correct and historically just.”

            Asked about what his interviewer calls “the Crimean precedent,” Gatsalov says that it very much should be for the now divided people of Osetia.  The mufti says that “the issue of unifying Osetia and the question of including South Osetia in the Russian Federation” should now be addressed and a positive answer should be given in both cases.

            The mufti adds that “the Crimean precedent is putting into motion many forces including those which are not noticed at first glance,” and that will continue to be the case.  Moreover, he says, “the political system of Ukraine will continue to be in a state of agony regardless of who wins the elections, if in fact they take place.”

            While that is happening, Gatsalov continues, the Greater Caucasus will be “drawn into the conflict of the two world systems. This is already a fait accompli, and the conflict cannot be avoided. What will be the situation of South Osetia is difficult to predict. [And] therefore the chance of its inclusion into the Russian Federation must be realized as quickly as possible.”

            Its current state of independence is still “all the same quite dependent,” the mufti says, and its inclusion into the Russian Federation as part of a greater Osetia is the best way to end this because “the national and cultural-social unity” of the Osetians must correspond to and be supported by “a single territorial space.”

            “We must acquire a national Osetin idea, which will consolidate the entire people from South to North and from East to West ... The resolution of the problems of demography and depression” in both parts of Osetia will thereby “receive a powerful positive push forward. In fact, he says, “there are no alternatives” to such a move.

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