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Georgian MFA Condemns So-Called Presidential Runoffs in Russian Occupied Tskhinvali

By Khatia Bzhalava
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has condemned the so-called second tour of presidential elections held on 8 May in the Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region. According to the ministry, this illegal action contradicts the fundamental principles and norms of international law and blatantly violates Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

The ministry notes that under the ongoing Russian occupation no election would have any legal consequences as hundreds of thousands of IDPs and refugees expelled from their homes as a result of the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions are still hampered to safe and dignified return home. The ministry says that fundamental rights and freedoms of people on the ground are blatantly violated and stresses that Russia’s responsibility for the violations of human rights on the ground is reflected in the Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 21 January 2021.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to properly assess and react to the actions directed against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

The State Ministry for Reconciliation and Civic Equality of Georgia has also published a statement condemning the so-called presidential runoffs in the Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region, stating that the fact contradicts the fundamental principles and norms of international law and violates Georgia’s sovereignty.

“The Georgian government and the international community do not recognize the legitimacy of such actions and their results,” the statement reads.

The so-called second round of de facto presidential elections took place on Sunday between incumbent de facto president Anatoly Bibilov and Nikhas party leader Alan Gagloev. As of now, Gagloev is leading in the so-called elections. After the elections, Bibilov told RIA Novosti that a referendum would be held on the unification of South Ossetia with Russia. According to him, all the documents for the referendum have been collected and submitted to the central election commission.

British Ambassador to Georgia, Mark Clayton, told InterPressNews that the UK does not recognize the independence of South Ossetia or Abkhazia and supports Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely. It's hard for me to see how any referendum held in South Ossetia in the near future could have any legitimacy at all,” he said in the interview.