Anatoli Bibilov, Emergency Minister of South Ossetia, proposed to hold a referendum in June to unify that Georgian separatist republic with Russia.
Bibilov clarified in Tskhinvali, capital of South Ossetia, that "actually, we should speak of reunification, not unification, because Ossetia belonged to the Russian Empire." A former presidential candidate in his country, he believes that South Ossetia should rejoin the Russian Republic of North Ossetia and return to the heart of the Russian Federation.
"We are a divided people. Together we will be stronger. Although the Soviet authorities divided Ossetia between Russia and Georgia, the ties between North and South were never severed", admitted Bibilov. In his opinion, the South Ossetians are willing to renounce the sovereignty won after a brief but bloody war against Georgia in August 2008 after which the Kremlin recognized its independence.
Bibilov believes that the measures adopted by the new Georgian government, such as changing the name of the Reunification Ministry to Reconciliation Ministry are decorative. "Georgia refuses to provide written guarantees that it will not use force against Ossetia — he stated — nor do they recognize the genocide of South Ossetians. We need papers." The South Ossetian politician assured us that he had broached the topic with the president of South Ossetia, Leonid Tibílov, and that he had responded that inquiries should be made to North Ossetia and the Kremlin.
However, Anatoli Bibilov believes that the government will eventually support his initiative because it also has the support of many politicians in North Ossetia. "The inquiries I have made confirm that North Ossetia would support the inquiry, whereas the Russian authorities take care of South Ossetian aspirations.", he assured. He recalled that 2014 has been designated by the separatist government as "the year of the beginning of development of South Ossetia" after recovery from the war.
With regard to the West, South Ossetians are not expecting concessions because it has neither condemned the Georgian invasion or the death of civilians, much less do they trust in recognizing its independence.