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    South Ossetian President-Elect Leonid Tibilov

    S Ossetia Did Not Voice Intention to Join Russia at Talks With Putin's Aide

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    On Monday, the press service of South Ossetian leader Leonid Tibilov said he had unveiled plans to organize a referendum to "reunite with brotherly Russia" at a meeting with Surkov.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that the president of the breakaway Georgian republic of South Ossetia had not voiced his intention to hold a referendum to join Russia during a meeting with Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov.

    "If I understand correctly, the statement was not made directly at the meeting [with Surkov]," Peskov told reporters.

    South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in the early 1990s. Moscow recognized the region, as well as another Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia, as an independent state in August 2008 following an armed conflict with Tbilisi. The confrontation prompted Georgia to declare South Ossetia and Abkhazia "occupied" territories.

    The spokesman added that in South Ossetia, "there are a lot of supporters of integration with Russia, which has long been known."

    "As far as I understand it, this was what Mr. Tibilov said," Peskov stated.

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    Tags:
    referendum, Vladislav Surkov, Dmitry Peskov, Leonid Tibilov, South Ossetia, Russia
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