The president of the self-proclaimed region, Anatoly Bibilov, “signed a decree to hold a referendum in the Republic of South Ossetia,” his office said in a statement highlighting the “historic aspiration” of the residents of this part. Georgia joins forces with Russia, a country with which they share a border.
Meanwhile, the new leader of the separatist region, Alan Gagloev, announced that he would coordinate the referendum request with the Kremlin.
“As soon as we get the signal and realize the time has come, this referendum will be held safely,” he told Tass News.
Gagloev, who defeated the resigning president in the second round of regional elections, stressed that the referendum on integration in Russia depended not only on the South Ossetians but also on the international geopolitical situation.
“It’s not a question of unification, it’s a mechanism to achieve it. We fully understand that this situation does not depend only on South Ossetia. In these matters, every step must be considered, ”he pointed out.
The same official also referred to the plight of a “strategic ally of Russia” “conducting a special operation in Ukraine to eliminate neo-Nazi formations.”
Recently, Bibliov assured the Efe news agency that South Ossetia was going to convene a referendum on Russian integration and that “Russia is the historic homeland of all the Ossetians.”
“The referendum is not complicated because it shows the world that we are with Russia. And especially now that many countries, including the great powers, have turned their backs on him, ”he explained.
South Ossetia, whose independence was recognized by the Kremlin after the war with Georgia in August 2008, decided not to promote integration when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
Since 2008, the region has been a Russian protectorate where Moscow has a military base and whose budget depends on 90 percent of the Russian coffers.
“Do you support the reunification of South Ossetia and Russia?” is a question that some 50,000 Ossetians will have to answer.
Although Georgia considers the referendum illegal, the Kremlin said it respected the will of the people of South Ossetia.
After the unification of the Russian Federation, the next step would be to unite with the Russian Republic of North Ossetia into a single federal entity.