In the conflict region of South Ossetia, which has broken away from Georgia, a vote on possible accession to Russia is to be held on July 17. This was announced by its ruler Anatoly Bibilow by decree on Friday. Already in March he had declared: “I believe that a union with Russia is our strategic goal”.

Just a few days ago, Bibilov lost the runoff election in the region to opposition leader Alan Gagloyev with his pro-Russia course. Gaglojew should support the idea of ​​the referendum. The Georgian government calls such a referendum unacceptable.

Russia recognized South Ossetia as an independent state after a war against Georgia in 2008, along with the Abkhazia region, and stationed thousands of soldiers in the region. South Ossetian fighters have also joined Russian forces in Ukraine.

Abkhazia, on the other hand, is not planning to join Russia, said a spokesman for the local parliament. Russia is a strategic and close partner, but Abkhazia “according to the constitution is an independent country”.