TBILISI, March 31. /TASS/. Georgia finds unacceptable any speculations about a referendum in South Ossetia on the possibility of joining Russia, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, said on Thursday.
"Speculations about any referendum [in South Ossetia] are unacceptable," Zalkaliani said, repeating Tbilisi’s opinion that South Ossetia [recognized as an independent republic by Russia - TASS] was an "occupied territory" of Georgia. He drew attention to the political and legal aspects of the problem.
Zalkaliani argues that a referendum would have no legal basis to rely on, because many Georgian citizens had left South Ossetia and had no chances of returning to their homes.
South Ossetia’s President Anatoly Bibilov on Wednesday said that his country would take legal steps for joining the Russian Federation in the near future. His spokeswoman Dina Gassiyeva told TASS the procedures would be completed after the presidential election, which is due on April 10.
In 2008, Moscow recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Tbilisi severed relations with them and declared both as occupied regions.