SUKHUM, April 10. /TASS/. Abkhazia will support any legitimate choice of the people of South Ossetia, Abkhazia’s Vice President Vitaly Gabniya told TASS on Monday, commenting on South Ossetia’s presidential elections and referendum on changing the republic’s name held on Sunday.
"We will support any choice of South Ossetia’s people, any decision that will be legitimate for it. Elections in that republic have never been smooth and now they were held in a somewhat tense atmosphere. But, anyway, the situation is not critical," he said.
"A state’s soundness does not imply having no internal contradictions but it depends on how quickly it can overcome them," Gabniya said. "I am confident that by Friday we will know the final results with account of voting in Vladikavkaz and Moscow and that the State of Alania will live through this stage in its modern history and will overcome the acute crisis."
He pledged that relations between his country and South Ossetia will not change regardless of who is in power in these republics. "It is not mere friendship between two individuals of a couple of dozen of individuals, it is relationship between two nations," he said.
On April 9, South Ossetia held presidential elections and a referendum on changing its name into the State of Alania. According to preliminary data announced by South Ossetia’ Central Election Commission, parliament speaker Anatoly Bibilov is winning in the first round of voting with 57.98% of votes. Incumbent President Leonid Tibilov has scored 30% of the vote. A polling station was opened in Abkhazia’s capital city of Sukhum.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia were recognized by Russia as independent republics on August 26, 2008 after Georgia’s military aggression against South Ossetia. Later on, their independence was recognized by Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.