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U.S. Denounces Separatist Elections In South Ossetia

South Ossetia's leader Eduard Kokoity casts his ballot on May 31
The United States has joined condemnations of the separatist elections in the South Ossetia region of Georgia.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said in a written statement that the United States "regrets the decision to hold so-called 'elections'" in South Ossetia on May 31, and said Washington recognizes neither the legality nor the results of the vote for the separatist legislature.

Reuters reported that parties supporting the pro-Moscow leader of South Ossetia won the parliamentary elections by a landslide.

The U.S. statement described the election as representing "a step away from a peaceful and negotiated solution" to the conflict over South Ossetia, and said the United States continues to support Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

Earlier, the European Union and Georgian government also denounced the South Ossetia vote as illegitimate.

with agency reports