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OSCE Permanent Council rules referendum in breakaway Tskhinvali illegal

17 Feb 2017 - 16:29:00

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Agenda.ge,17 Feb 2017 - 16:29, Tbilisi,Georgia

The OSCE Permanent Council disapproves of the decision of de facto Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) authorities to hold a referendum in Georgia’s breakaway region.

Yesterday the Georgian delegation to the OSCE headed by Ambassador Konstantine Zaldastanishvili initiated discussion over the issue with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) permanent council.

The delegation believes conducting a referendum on the Russian-occupied territories is "yet another act of aggression” from Russia against Georgia’s peaceful policy that relies on the restoration of trust between the people split by the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL).

The delegation further urged the Russian Federation to refrain from provocative actions, to follow the August 12, 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and withdraw its troops from Georgian territory.

Since the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008, the Geneva International Discussions have been the only format of dialogue between Georgia and Russia.

The delegation also called upon the international community to take relevant measures against Russia’s "illegal” steps and avoid escalation of situation in the Tskhinvali region, which if not properly monitored may become "yet another precedent of annexation in Europe”.

Back in 2015, the de facto leader of Georgia’s breakaway region Leonid Tibilov proposed to rename the historic Georgian province after a similarly-named province in the Russian Federation.

Tibilov said South Ossetia should be called South Ossetia-Alania like North Ossetia-Alania.

Earlier this February he once again voiced his proposal saying the breakaway region will hold a plebiscite on this matter on the same day that it will hold its unrecognized presidential elections on April 9.

Composed of delegates of the participating States, "the Permanent Council is the principal decision-making body for regular political consultations and for governing the day-to-day operational work of the OSCE between the meetings of the Ministerial Council”.

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