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U.S. Condemns 'Illegitimate' Elections In Georgian Breakaway Regions

Acting U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner (file photo)
Acting U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner (file photo)

The United States has condemned moves by authorities in breakaway regions of Georgia to hold votes and elections that it says are "illegitimate."

U.S. State Department acting spokesman Mark Toner on April 7 singled out for condemnation a referendum scheduled for April 9 on changing the name of South Ossetia to the Republic of South Ossetia-Alania.

He also said the United States did not recognize the results of the "illegitimate elections conducted in Abkhazia on March 12 and March 26 or the election planned for April 9 in South Ossetia."

"These illegitimate elections and referenda are being conducted in Georgian territory without the consent of the government of Georgia," Toner said in a statement.

"The United States fully supports the territorial integrity of Georgia and its sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders," he added. "Our position on Abkhazia and South Ossetia is clear and consistent. These regions are integral parts of Georgia."

Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent countries after fighting a brief war against Georgia in 2008.

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