The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi has condemned the “illegitimate referendum” which is planned to be held in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia on April 9, whether to rename the territory’s name to ‘Alania.’ The President of Georgia and high-level Georgian officials have also condemned the proposed referendum and have called on Georgia’s international partners to react.
With this statement, the U.S. Embassy Tbilisi has once again supported Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The full statement reads as follows:
“The U.S. Embassy condemns the decision to conduct an illegitimate “referendum” in Georgia’s South Ossetia region, planned for April 9. Such provocative actions erode trust and confidence and undermine the Geneva International Discussions. The United States will not recognize the results of an illegitimate referendum that is conducted in Georgian territory without the explicit consent of the Government of Georgia. Both the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions are integral parts of Georgia, and we reiterate our strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
The United States supports the Geneva International Discussions as the forum to address the situation in Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. We urge all participants to avoid actions, including the proposed referendum, which undermine these discussions.”
The referendum regarding the name change will be held at the same time that de facto South Ossetia will hold Presidential elections. The question of the referendum will be: “Do you agree or not to rename the South Ossetian Republic to Alania?” The initiative for the referendum was originally tabled by President Leonid Tibilov in December 2015. He released an order to hold the referendum in February 2017.