The Georgian separatist region of South Ossetia, whose independence was recognized by the Kremlin in 2008, today called a referendum on integration with the Russian Federation for July 17.
“Do you support the unification between South Ossetia and Russia?”, will be the question that the South Ossetians will have to answer, according to the decree signed today by the outgoing president, Anatoli Bibílov.
Bibílov confirmed today on his Telegram channel that the Central Electoral Commission of the Caucasian republic “unanimously” approved the accession to Russia.
“The documents have been forwarded to the (Supreme) Court. We await the court’s decision and very soon we will be able to fulfill our great dream,” he said.
He explained that the call responds to the “historical aspiration of the people of the Republic of South Ossetia to rejoin Russia.”
“It’s not just an association or friendship. It’s a relationship of trust between brothers, where the older brother always understands and supports the younger in word and deed, and the younger always respects and helps the older. It’s time to unite,” he stressed. .
Recently, Bibílov told Efe that South Ossetia intended to call an integration referendum, since “Russia is the historical homeland of the Ossetians.”
“The referendum will not be a complication, since it will show the world that we are with Russia. Even more so now, when many countries, including great powers, turn their backs on it,” he explained.
This week the new South Ossetian leader, Alan Gaglóyev, who defeated Bibílov in the presidential elections, announced that he would coordinate with the Kremlin to call a referendum.
“As soon as we receive the signal, as soon as we understand that the time has come, that referendum will be held for sure. We fully understand that in this situation not everything depends on South Ossetia. In such matters, each step must be agreed upon.” Gagloyev told the Russian agency TASS.
He called for taking charge of the difficult position in which “the strategic ally, Russia” finds itself, which “conducts a special operation in Ukraine for the elimination of neo-Nazi formations,” he specified.
South Ossetia, whose independence was recognized by the Kremlin in August 2008 after a war with Georgia, already missed an opportunity when Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea (2014).
Since 2008 that territory has been a Russian protectorate, where Moscow has a military base and whose budget depends 90% on the coffers of the Russian State.
South Ossetia, a territory where some 50,000 people live, sent several hundred volunteers to fight in the ranks of the Russian Army in Ukraine.
While Georgia sees the referendum as illegitimate, the Kremlin has already said that it will respect the will of the South Ossetian people. After entering the Russian Federation, the next step would be to join the Russian Republic of North Ossetia in a single federated entity. EFE