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De-facto Tskhinvali leadership announces referendum to join Russia

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, December 30
The de-facto leadership of Georgia’s occupied region of Tskhinvali ( South Ossetia) plans to hold a referendum over incorporating the area with the Russian Federation before April 2017.

The statement has been made by the Leader of De-facto Ossetian government Leonid Tibilov.

Tibilov has not yet named the exact date of holding the referendum, but he said that the process will take place before so-called Presidential elections of South Ossetia scheduled for April 2017.

According to him, both North and South Ossetia will be integrated into Russia, as this is a “dream of the Ossetian people.”

Tibilov also said that he wants to rename South Ossetia.

“I will order all corresponding agencies and offer the Member of Parliament’s (MP) discuss the issue. There is North Ossetia, which is named Alania and I offer to call our republic the same name. The reason for that is that the whole world should know there is a problem with our separated people,” stated Tibilov.

The de-facto government of South Ossetia has signed some inter-alliance agreements with the Russian Federation since 2008 August war between Russia and Georgia.

With the documents signed between the two sides, Russia took the responsibility of defending Tskhinvali “from aggressors.”

Tbilisi always declares that any document signed between Tskhinvali and Russia is illegal, as South Ossetia - and Abkhazia - are integral parts of Georgia, which is recognized by the international community.