South Ossetia to have referendum on joining Russia
The President of South Ossetia schedules a referendum on joining Russia.
The President of South Ossetia, Anatoly Bibilov, released a statement on his website on Friday, which says that he has scheduled a referendum on joining Russia.
Bibilov says he signed a decree calling for the referendum to take place on July 17, saying he is guided by the historical desire of the people of South Ossetia for reunification with Russia in accordance with paragraph 16 of Article 50 of the South Ossetian constitution.
Bibilov was quoted as saying late in March “I believe that unification with Russia is our strategic goal, our path, the aspiration of the people," adding that “we will take the relevant legal steps in the near future. The republic of South Ossetia will be part of its historical homeland – Russia.”
Alan Tadtayev, South Ossetia's parliament speaker said on March 30 that since 1774, when Ossetia joined Russia, there hasn’t been a single document declaring its secession from Russia.
"There hasn’t been a single document since 1774 whereby South Ossetia seceded from the Russian Federation as some separate entity or territory," the speaker said. "This must also be taken into account."
Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 26, 2008, after Georgia’s armed aggression against Tskhinval. The leaders of Russia have said more than once that the recognition of the independence of these two former autonomies of Georgia reflected the existing realities and was not subject to revision. Tbilisi has refused to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to this day.