Georgia says South Ossetia referendum on joining Russia ‘unacceptable’

Tbilisi, Mar 31 (EFE).- The Georgian parliament Thursday said a referendum on the breakaway region of South Ossetia joining Russia was “unacceptable”.

“Speculations about any referendum in South Ossetia are unacceptable,” said Georgian foreign minister, David Zalkaliani.

Zalkaliani added that a referendum would be illegitimate because South Ossetia is an occupied territory.

“Thousands of Georgians have been expelled as a result of ethnic cleansing and cannot return home,” he said.

The foreign minister’s comments came after the president of South Ossetia said Wednesday the region would take steps to become part of Russia after presidential elections set to take place on April 10.

“We will not allow Georgia to be involved in a new provocation. We are committed to a peaceful policy. We want our fellow citizens there in the occupied territories to enjoy the benefits of Georgia’s future membership in the European Union,” Zalkaliani said during a joint press conference with his Danish counterpart.

Russia recognized South Ossetia as an independent state in the aftermath of the Russo-Georgian war in 2008.

The disputed territory has only been recognized by Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria. EFE


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