Statement by the President of Georgia on holding of so-called plebiscite and presidential elections in Tskhinvali region on 9 April

The plebiscite, elections or any other action, which envisages free expression of the will

of citizens, cannot be implemented in the territory occupied by the foreign state, where

the majority of the indigenous population was expelled from as result of ethnic cleansing

and the only force exercising effective control today is the Russian Federation.

Any attempt to change the name of the occupied region, without the consent of the

central Government of Georgia, represents yet another action against the sovereignty

and territorial integrity of Georgia directed towards further annexation of Georgia's

occupied territories.

We again call on the Russian Federation to take real steps towards the de-occupation

of Georgia's occupied territories and implementation of its international obligations.

We address the international community to stand up against the violation of Georgia's

sovereignty and territorial integrity and any attempt to legitimize the outcomes of so-

called elections and plebiscite.