MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. South Ossetia’s referendum where people will be asked to cast votes about joining Russia could take place in May or June, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Viktor Vodolatsky told TASS.
A day earlier, South Ossetia President Anatoly Bibilov said the country will make legal steps to join Russia in the near future. Dina Gassiyeva, the press secretary of the head of state, told TASS the procedures will be completed after the presidential elections that are scheduled for April 10.
"I think that on April 10, when South Ossetia will be holding presidential elections, the date of the referendum will already be clear," Vodolatsky said. "After the election, the swearing in of the president, he will carry out this procedure. I think it won't take long: May-June."
Joining the Russia is a dream, Vodolatsky said, that many residents of South Ossetia have had since 2008 when the country faced an aggression from Georgia, then led by Mikhail Saakashvili.
On August 26, 2008, Russia recognized the sovereignty of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after Georgia’s armed aggression against Tskhinval. Russian leaders stated repeatedly that the recognition of the two former Georgian autonomous regions reflects the current reality and is not subject to revision. However, Tbilisi refused to recognize the independence of the republics.