Official Tbilisi condemns the presidential election and referendum held on 9 April 2017 in occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) Region of Georgia. Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has released an official statement, saying any elections or referendum in the occupied territories of Georgia are illegal and cannot have any legal effect. “This provocative act by the Russian occupation forces grossly violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and represents yet another attempt to legitimize the consequences of several waves of ethnic cleansing, military invasion and ongoing occupation of Georgian regions,” the statement reads. The MFA says that holding the referendum on changing the name of one of the oldest Georgian regions into “Republic of South Ossetia — State of Alania” is aimed at laying the ground for its illegal annexation.
“This intention has been vividly demonstrated also by recently signed agreement on incorporation of the unlawful military units of the Tskhinvali region into the armed forces of the Russian Federation,” MFA stated.
The Foreign Ministry says that by these provocative actions, the Russian Federation intentionally impedes the efforts of peaceful conflict resolution, including within the Geneva International Discussions and hinders the confidence building between the communities divided by occupation lines.