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Tskhinvali separatists postpone joining Russia

By Messenger Staff
Monday, February 13
The de facto government of Georgia’s eastern breakaway region of South Ossetia (Tskhinvali) has stated that formally joining the Russian Federation has been postponed due to the ‘presidential elections’ planned this year in April.

"Last year, we agreed on a scheme that would allow us to make a proposal to the Russian leadership on the accession of the president," the de-facto president of Tskhinvali, Leonid Tibilov, told the TASS news agency.

"This is an internal process. I put forward a proposal on amending Article 10 of our Constitution, but then various conflicting views about the procedures emerged and as the president, I came to the conclusion that the issue should be discussed in detail by a political council,” Tibilov added.

He said at the political council meeting the government made a decision to reconsider this issue after the 2017 elections.

“We have time for work with our Russian colleagues, and Moscow knows our views,” Tibilov stated,

Tibilov stressed that all citizens of South Ossetia seek rapprochement with Moscow.

“Today we can say that we are in a single economic, political and media space with Russia.

“Tskhinvali also knows that there are serious issues on the path towards joining Russia that need to be considered. We should not create any difficulties for our Russian colleagues,” Tibilov said.

In his earlier comments, Tibilov also stated that the region was thinking about changing its name, a move that was strongly condemned by Tbilisi as one more illegality voiced by the de facto leadership and the Russian occupiers.

Of Georgia’s two de facto regions which are now occupied by Russia, Tskhinvali always follows Russia’s demands more keenly than their Abkhaz counterparts.

Russia generally uses the regions and their occupation to blackmail Georgia, and statements such as joining Russia or changing the region's name are very likely to serve the aim of provoking Georgia.

In reality, however, It is unlikely that Russia is seriously considering allowing Tskhinvali to join the Federation... or even that Moscow cares much for the fact to take place.