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Tskhinvali Leader Declares ‘Reunification’ with Russia Strategic Objective

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On March 25, Moscow-backed Tskhinvali leader Anatoly Bibilov delivered a state-of-the-nation address proclaiming ‘reunification’ with the Russian Federation strategic goal for Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, local news agency RES reported. In his speech, Bibilov underlined the significance of weaving ever-closer ties with Russia, main benefactor of Tskhinvali authorities, and alluded to “looming threats” emanating from Georgia proper.

“As historical experience of our nation has attested, we can achieve our objectives only through unity with Russia. It is not only the principal precondition to advance South Ossetian statehood at this stage, but also a safeguard for the very future of our people. Reunification with Russia is the strategic goal of South Ossetia,” Bibilov stated.

Prior to the Russian conquest of the Caucasus, the area of modern day Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia was part of the (East Georgian) Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti and did not have any administrative status. After the Russian annexation of the Georgian Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti in 1801, the Tskhinvali area was part of subsequently the Georgian Governate, the short lived Georgia-Imeretia Governate (1840) and then the Tiflis Governate from 1846 until 1918 when the independent Democratic Republic of Georgia was established.

The area now known as Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia was not an administrative district in any form until until 1922, when the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast was created a year after the Soviet Russia annexed independent Georgia. During the seven decades of Soviet Occupation of Georgia, the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast was part of the Georgian SSR.

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Bibilov stressed that recognition of Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia as a sovereign state had become “irreversible.” “South Ossetia has bolstered friendly relations with a number of countries, including Abkhazia, Syria, Venezuela,” he noted and vowed to deepen economic ties with few other states that had recognized the independence of Tskhinvali region from Georgia.

According to Bibilov, 2019 has been marked with an active engagement of Tskhinvali authorities with the Russian Federation, a “strategic partner.” He set out plans to further the rapprochement in particular domains such as governance, trade and economic relations. Bibilov highlighted “growing inter-agency ties” with Russian state bodies, which were further deepened on the basis of the Treaty of Alliance and Integration signed in 2015. He also mentioned concluding an “intergovernmental agreement” with the Crimean Republic (Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia – Civil.Ge’s note). Tskhinvali leader put special emphasis on fostering closer relations with North Ossetia – Alania republic, part of the Russian Federation.

Bibilov called Georgia’s attempts to bar Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia from enhancing its international standing “futile.” “A row of provoking actions by the Georgian authorities may be linked to Tbilisi’s fears about the collapse of the “non-recognition” policy,” he asserted. He announced plans to further secure administrative boundary line with Georgia proper.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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