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South Ossetia needs referendum to unite with Russia, says leader

October 19, 2015, 23:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. South Ossetian President Leonid Tibilov said on Monday a referendum was needed on republic’s accession to Russia.

"Today’s political environment decrees that we make our historical choice, reuniting with fraternal Russia to ensure safety and prosperity for our republic, our people for centuries to go," the press service quoted Tibilov as saying at a meeting with Russian president’s aide Vladislav Surkov.

He said unification with Russia was "an age-long dream of the South Ossetian people, gained in two centuries of resistance to Georgian chauvinism and fascism".

He said various strata of the society would be involved in work on the referendum, as well as leaders of political parties and civic organisations. All moves towards the referendum would proceed only by agreement with the Russian side, the president said.

Georgia’s breakaway republic of South Ossetia was in the focus of a war between Russia and Georgia in 2008, declaring independence in the aftermath. More than 1,000 people were killed in a five-day war, including 72 Russian peacekeepers. On August 26, 2008 Russia recognized independence of South Ossetia.

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