In brief

New South Ossetian president suspends referendum on unification with Russia

Gagloev to “hold consultations” with Moscow on “further integration”

Alan Gagloev.
Alan Gagloev. Author: Администрация Президента Республики Южная Осетия
New president of South Ossetia Alan Gagloev has suspended the referendum on the unification of this republic with the Russian Federation, at least until a South Ossetian delegation led by himself conducts a series of consultations with the “Russian side.” This is stated in a decree signed by Glagoev on Monday 30 May.

The referendum was called by former president Anatoly Bibilov. Even before taking office, Gagloev had voiced reservations about the referendum and, although he had spoken out for the union of South Ossetia and Russia, he also had stated that the mechanism and timetable leading to it should be coordinated. with Moscow. The reception of the referendum announcement had been lukewarm by the Kremlin.

Glagoyev’s decree now speaks of “holding consultations” with the Russian authorities “on the whole range of issues related to greater integration” —and now there is no longer talk of “union”— of the Republic of South Ossetia and the Russian Federation.

South Ossetia proclaimed independence from Georgia in 1991. Russia recognised it in 2008. Most of the Ossetian people live in North Ossetia, a republic of the Russian Federation.

The Georgian government considers the now-suspended referendum and the very existence of the South Ossetian republic illegal.