TSKHINVAL, March 31. /TASS/. The Republic of South Ossetia is holding consultations with Russia on organizing a referendum on its joining Russia, the republic’s President Anatoly Bibilov said during a broadcast on the Rossiya-24 TV channel.
Recently, Bibilov said that the republic would take legal steps to become a part of the Russian Federation as soon as possible.
"It is most important that consultations are already being held with our Russian colleagues [on the issue of holding a referendum on joining Russia]. And legal steps must first be based on international law. We have the basis for this. The Republic of South Ossetia is an independent state and can make the decisions it considers essential for itself. This decision is really vital for the people of South Ossetia," he said.
On August 26, 2008, after Georgia's armed aggression against Tskhinval, Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia's leaders have repeatedly stressed that recognition of the independence of the two former Georgian autonomies is a current reality and it cannot be changed. However, Tbilisi refuses to recognize the independence of the republics.