US embassy condemns Tskhinvali referendum
By Messenger Staff
Thursday, February 16“The U.S. Embassy condemned the decision to conduct an “illegitimate referendum” in Georgia’s eastern de facto South Ossetia (Tskhinvali) region, planned for April 9,” reads the statement released by the U.S. Embassy to Georgia.
The referendum concerns the renaming of the region.
“Such provocative actions erode trust and confidence and undermine the Geneva International Discussions. The United States will not recognize the results of an illegitimate referendum that is conducted in Georgian territory without the explicit consent of the Government of Georgia.
“Both the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions are integral parts of Georgia, and we reiterate our strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
The statement said the United States supports the Geneva International Discussions as the forum to address the situation in Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.
“We urge all participants to avoid actions, including the proposed referendum, which undermine these discussions,” the statement reads.
The initiative of the de facto President of Tskhinvali, Leonid Tibilov, is to change the Tskhinvali region’s name to ‘the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania”.
The second part of the name would sound just like North Ossetia-Alania, which is a federal subject of Russia.
Tbilisi has already strongly condemned the initiative, and urged the international community to react to it.
It is positive that Georgia’s key strategic partner has released an official statement about the initiative.
Unfortunately, Georgia’s only lever currently to react to the illegal actions of Russia and de facto regions is to inform the international community.
All other, more substantial reactions are the responsibility of influential foreign actors.