Anatoly Bibilov and Sergei Menyailo called for the unification of the Ossetian people

The Kremlin has not commented unequivocally on the statement of South Ossetian President Anatoly Bibilov about the republic’s intention to join Russia. “I can not express any position. No legal or other action has been taken in this regard. In this case, we are talking about expressing the opinion of the people of South Ossetia. We respect this, ”Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president, told reporters on March 31.

Artem Turov, Deputy Chairman of the CIS Affairs Committee, expressed confidence that “both the people of Russia and the people of South Ossetia will support this decision.” “The Ossetian people are a divided people, and <...> the statement of the head of the republic is an opportunity for the Ossetians to become one great nation,” he said.

Bibilov spoke on the evening of March 30. His statement was published by the press service of United Russia: “I believe that unification with Russia is our strategic goal. Our way. The aspiration of the people. And we will move along this path. We will take appropriate legal steps in the near future. The Republic of South Ossetia will be part of its historical homeland – Russia. ” Bibilov reminded that South Ossetia has repeatedly stated that it wants to join Russia, and in 2014 it had such an opportunity when Crimea joined Russia. “We missed our opportunity then, but we can’t allow it anymore,” Bibilov stressed.

South Ossetia declared independence on May 29, 1992, in the midst of an armed conflict with Georgia, of which it was a part. In 1992, the republic already held a referendum on joining Russia, then this idea was supported by 99.89% of voters. On August 26, 2008, after a five-day war with Georgia, Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

At the same time, the first plan to help the republic to restore infrastructure was adopted. The budget of South Ossetia depends on gratuitous receipts from the Russian Federation by more than 90%, Kommersant wrote. Apart from Russia, only Venezuela, Nauru, Nicaragua and Syria recognize the independence of South Ossetia. According to the 2015 census, there are 53,000 people living in South Ossetia.

In recent years, the issue of joining South Ossetia has been raised repeatedly. The referendum was supposed to take place in 2017, but was eventually “postponed” indefinitely. Senator Andrei Klimov stated that “there are no legal obstacles” to South Ossetia joining Russia.

A referendum on South Ossetia’s joining Russia will take place after the presidential election, which is scheduled for April 10, Bibilov’s spokeswoman Dina Gassieva said.

According to Bibilov, if South Ossetia became part of Russia, the republic could unite with North Ossetia. The head of North Ossetia, Sergei Menyailo, supported the possibility of uniting the republics. He stated that “in different historical periods, politicians made decisions that somehow changed the contours of administrative or state borders.”

“Ossetians in the South and the North have never lost touch with each other, have not moved away, remaining a single nation with a single culture, language, traditions,” said Menyailo. – But this has never affected the Ossetians’ desire to be one whole, one family. In fact, this is how we live: we work in Vladikavkaz, and the house is in Tskhinvali, on weekends – there, or vice versa.

There is no direct relationship between the proposed Bibilov referendum and a special military operation in Ukraine, in addition, there is now peace in South Ossetia, said Sergei Malakhov, executive director of the Institute for the Development of Parliamentarism. “But one referendum is not enough to decide on the republic’s joining Russia,” the expert reminds. “Appropriate decisions must be made by the president, the Constitutional Court, the parliament.”

How exactly this will happen is a matter not only of politics but also of aesthetics, Malakhov notes: that in theory we are ready to accept everyone, but also this issue can be suspended for a pause in anticipation of the parade of joining Russia. “

Many see this period as an opportunity to resolve frozen territorial disputes, the expert said: “This is already evident in the political intensification in Serbia. Perhaps we will see political statements from Transnistria. “

Abkhazia does not intend to join Russia. In any case, the speaker of the parliament of the republic Valery Kvarchiya said. In Georgia, which does not recognize the independence of the republics, the statements of the Ossetian authorities were called unacceptable. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani.

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