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Tbilisi Decries Proposed Tskhinvali Referendum to Join Russia

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister of Georgia, David Zalkaliani has decried the proposed “referendum” in occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia over “unification” with Russia.

“It is unacceptable to discuss any referendums while Georgia’s territory is occupied by Russia,” FM Zalkaliani announced today.

“No referendum will have any legal force amid the occupation, especially against the backdrop of hundreds of thousands of our citizens being expelled from their homes as a result of the ethnic cleansing and not being allowed to return.”

The chief diplomat said the Government will not allow Georgia to be “dragged into provocations” and for the “dire consequences” of the 2008 Russo-Georgian War to repeat.

FM Zalkaliani stressed that Georgia remains consistent with and committed to its policy of peaceful de-occupation.

“We will not use force to restore territorial integrity,” the top diplomat said, adding “this is our legal obligation, which the international community clearly supports.”

As things stand, some 30 thousand ethnic Georgians remain uprooted from the Tskhinvali Region, following the armed conflict in 1991-92 and the Russo-Georgian War of 2008.

The central Georgian Government asseses that there are about 20,000 people currently residing in the Tskhinvali Region.

Moscow recognized the independence of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region on August 26, 2008, two weeks after the Russo-Georgian war. Syria, Venezuela, Nauru, and Nicaragua are the only other nations that recognize the two regions’ independence from Georgia.

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


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