Anatoly Bibilov, the president of South Ossetia, scheduled a referendum on July 17 on the issue of the republic’s entry into Russia.
As writes RIA Newsthe decision was made by the head of state in response to the desire to reunite with Russia the people of South Ossetia and in full compliance with paragraph 16 of article 50 of the constitution of South Ossetia, according to the President’s website:
“To appoint a referendum of the Republic of South Ossetia on the question “Do you support the unification of the Republic of South Ossetia and Russia?”. Set the date for the referendum to July 17, 2022.”
In May, presidential elections were held in South Ossetia, the inauguration of Alan Gagloev, who won them, will take place after May 21. The position of the new head of state is similar, he previously stated:
“As soon as the time comes, South Ossetia will be ready to hold a referendum on joining the Russian Federation.”
Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 26, 2008. After defending South Ossetia in the same month from the Georgian army, which sought to return it to the rule of Tbilisi. During all subsequent years, the Russian leadership has repeatedly stated that the recognition of both republics reflects the prevailing realities and is not subject to revision.
As our publication reported, in March Anatoly Bibilov announced a possible referendum on the accession of the republic to the Russian Federation. He noted that the country intends to become part of Russia as a subject, and then initiate the procedure for unification with North Ossetia. At the same time, he called the unification necessary.
Bibilov said that in the very near future South Ossetia would take legal steps to become part of Russia. He recalled that in 2014 the republic missed this opportunity and “cannot allow this to happen again.” According to him, unification with Russia is a strategic goal and the way of the republic. He did not fail to note that for upholding freedom and recognizing the independence of South Ossetia, its citizens will always be grateful to the leadership and people of Russia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia called the statements about the referendum in South Ossetia and its discussion unacceptable, it will not have any legal force.