South Ossetia to take Georgia’s currency out of circulation

December 21st, 2010 - 12:53 am ICT by BNO News  

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (BNO NEWS) — South Ossetia, a disputed former part of the Georgian republic, on Monday announced that it will remove the Georgian currency from circulation beginning on January 10, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

“The administration of South Ossetia’s Leningorsk region has taken the decision to take the Georgian currency out of circulation,” South Ossetia’s information committee said.

The disputed state decided to remove the Georgian Lari and will instead rely on the Russian ruble. The transition will not result in large problems as currently the Georgian Lari and the Russian ruble are both used in South Ossetia.

South Ossetia, along with neighboring Abkhazia, consider themselves independent nations but are only recognized by Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Georgia still considers the region part of its country, as most of the world’s governments do.

Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states two weeks after a five-day war with Georgia in August 2008. Georgian forces had attacked South Ossetia in a failed attempt to bring it back under central control, after which Russia deployed its troops to protect the disputed area.

Hundreds of Russian, Georgian, South Ossetian and Abkhazian soldiers were killed during the violent conflict, as well as more than 160 civilians.

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