MEP Marina Kaljurand, the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the South Caucasus, and MEP Sven Mikser, the European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Georgia have rejected the April 10 “presidential elections” in Russian-occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia as illegitimate.
In a statement on April 12, the MEPs also “noted with great concern with great concern that the de facto incumbent ‘President’ of the occupied region [Anatoly Bibilov] has threatened to hold a so-called ‘referendum’ on a possible ‘unification’ of Ossetia within the Russian Federation after this sham ballot.”
“At the same time, the Kremlin, which is in desperate need of a success story to save face after its military debacle around Kyiv, has alluded that such a ‘unification’ – tantamount to an outright annexation of a part of Georgia’s sovereign territory by Russia – could be indeed envisaged,” MEPs Kaljurand and Mikser said.
They highlighted occupied Tskhinvali Region and Abkhazia “are integral parts of Georgia, and no creeping annexation strategy, sham election, or fake referendum will ever change that.”
“Needless to say, the European Union will always stick to its principles,” the lawmakers asserted.
MEPs Kaljurand and Mikser also called on Russia “as the country exercising de facto control over” the regions to put an and to the occupation, reverse its recognition of their independence and fulfill the terms of the EU-mediated 2008 ceasefire agreement with Georgia.
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