The question of South Ossetia’s accession to Russia will be decided after the elections in the republic

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The statement on the possible accession of South Ossetia to Russia was made during the election campaign of the current president of the Transcaucasian republic Anatoly Bibilov – the elections there will be held on April 10. As his press secretary Dina Gassieva specified, the referendum on accession will be held after April 10.

Address of the President of South Ossetia Anatoly Bibilov:
— “The Republic of South Ossetia will be part of its historical homeland – Russia

The Republic of South Ossetia, the Russian Federation, the whole world are going through a turning point.

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The Russian world today defends the interests of those who are committed to it, those who oppose Nazism, respect universal human values and the fundamental rights and norms accepted by the entire international community.

I believe that unification with Russia is our strategic goal. Our Path.

The aspirations of the people.
And we will move along this path.

We will take appropriate legal steps in the near future.”

“I believe that unification with Russia is our strategic goal. Our way. The aspirations of the people. And along this path we will move. We will take the appropriate legal steps in the near future. The Republic of South Ossetia will be part of its historical homeland – Russia,” Bibilov said on March 30. He recalled that South Ossetia has repeatedly expressed a desire to become part of Russia. The republic, he said, missed an opportunity in 2014, when Crimea joined Russia: “But we cannot allow this to happen again.”

The Kremlin did not unequivocally comment on this statement. “I cannot express any position. No legal or other action has been taken in this regard. In this case, we are talking about expressing the opinion of the people of South Ossetia. We respect this,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on March 31. Representatives of United Russia welcomed the initiative. “I think both the people of Russia and the people of South Ossetia will support this decision. It will be historic for us,” concluded Artem Turov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for CIS Affairs.

In the event of South Ossetia becoming part of Russia, according to Bibilov, the republic could unite with North Ossetia. The head of this Russian republic, Sergei Menyailo, supported the possibility of unification. He noted that “in different historical periods, politicians made decisions that in one way or another changed the contours of administrative or state borders.”

“Ossetians in the south and north have never lost touch with each other, have not moved away, remaining a single people with a single culture, language, traditions,” Menyailo said. – But this has never affected the desire of Ossetians to be one whole, a single family. Actually, this is how we live: we work in Vladikavkaz, and the house is in Tskhinval, for the weekend – there or vice versa. “

Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of North Ossetia Vitaly Cheldiev (faction “Patriots of Russia”) agreed that the decision was long overdue and “started in 2008 (i.e. recognition of the independence of South Ossetia. “Vedomosti”) needs to be brought to an end.” “In the course of my activities, I have to visit South Ossetia, I meet a lot with the people there. All their aspirations are with Russia. Ossetians deserve not to be divided,” Cheldiyev told Vedomosti.

According to him, the deputies of North Ossetia at a meeting on March 31 discussed the question of how exactly the possible unification of the republics will take place: “While South Ossetia should enter the procedure as an independent subject, the next stage is the unification of the two subjects. And when there is already a united Ossetia or Alania without the prefix North and South, it will be possible to discuss where the authorities will be. ” Cheldiyev suggests that the government of this region will be located in Vladikavkaz, but there may be separate ministries in Tskhinval, for example, the Ministry of Nationalities Affairs or the Ministry of Agriculture. According to him, this should not cause problems: the territory of even the united republic is not so large that it breaks the work.

North Ossetia, we note, in 1995 changed the name of the republic, adding the historical name of Alania.

Unification is very important from a national and ideological point of view, but is unlikely to bring economic benefits to South Ossetia, says Soslan Dzhusoev, a former adviser to the presidents of the republic Bibilov and Leonid Tibilov. “The legislation of South Ossetia is very close to the Russian one, but, for example, our tax regime is more lenient. South Ossetia, as a sovereign state, has its own customs payments, which will also leave, “says Dzhusoev.

The budget of South Ossetia depends on gratuitous receipts from Russia by more than 90%, Kommersant wrote. A plus may be an increase in salaries for those employed in the public sector, because most of the population of the republic are state employees, he continues. “But few people talk about such economic categories when it comes to national unification,” he stressed.

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According to the 2015 census, 53,000 people live in South Ossetia. “If the republic is annexed to North [Ossetia], the entire bureaucratic apparatus that formed the statehood will be disbanded,” fears South Ossetian journalist Alik Pukhaev. “People will go north.” But if South Ossetia is a separate region of Russia, citizens will not understand this, he notes: “People are ready to give up the status of statehood if the long-standing dream of uniting Ossetians is fulfilled.”

Ethnically, the two Ossetias practically do not differ, so the unification of the subjects would be logical, says Alexei Makarkin, first vice-president of the Center for Political Technologies. “South Ossetia is small, but it has conflicting elites,” the expert believes. Uniting the subjects politically solves this problem.

South Ossetia declared independence on May 29, 1992, at the height of the conflict with Georgia, of which it had previously been a part. In 1992, a referendum on joining Russia was already held in the republic, then this idea was supported by 99.89% of voters. On August 26, 2008, after a five-day war with Georgia, Russia recognized South Ossetia as well as Abkhazia as independent states (the latter has not yet announced its intention to become part of Russia).

The south Ossetian authorities have already raised the issue of a referendum on joining Russia in 2017, but in the end it was postponed indefinitely. Makarkin admits that the unification may not take place this time, if it is decided that this will entail a complication of relations with Georgia, which did not actively support Ukraine during the military special operation. But the current situation is a period of opportunities to resolve frozen territorial disputes, said Sergei Malakhov, executive director of the Institute for the Development of Parliamentarism.