Intention to hold a referendum in Georgia’s occupied territory of South Ossetia related to region’s accession to Russia is an attempt to influence political processes in Georgia, said first deputy foreign minister Davit Zalkaliani.
Leader of breakaway region of South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov, said referendum on a constitutional change that would allow him to request Moscow South Ossetia’s accession to Russia will be held “before August”.
“Not a single referendum held on Georgia’s occupied territories will have any legal force as long as the Russian Federation remains in effective control of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region and the majority of local population remains expelled from these regions,” Georgian deputy foreign minister said on April 12.
“The statements about a referendum and Tskhinvali Region’s accession to the Russian Federation are a continuation of illegal processes ongoing on Georgia’s occupied territories and, first and foremost, of the process of actual annexation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region,” said Zalkaliani.
“It is of a provocative nature and aims at exerting influence on political processes in Georgia,” he said.
"The Georgian Foreign Ministry calls on the Russian Federation to refrain from further escalation and making already difficult security and humanitarian situation on Georgia’s occupied territories further tense and to fulfill its commitments undertaken in the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement between Russia and Georgia," said Zalkaliani.
"The Georgian Foreign Ministry calls on the international community to appropriately assess those consequences and challenges that may be caused by possible holding of a referendum in the occupied Tskhinvali Region on joining the Russian Federation and take relevant measures to prevent annexation of Georgia’s occupied territories," he said.