Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia ditches referendum on joining Russia

31/5/2022 1:00:00 AM

Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia ditches referendum on joining Russia

Copy to clipboard https://str.Copy to clipboard https://str.Copy to clipboard https://str.Copy to clipboard https://str.

sg/w2rw TBILISI (AFP) - The leader of Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia on Monday (May 30) scrapped plans to hold a referendum on joining Russia which his predecessor had scheduled for July 17.In a decree issued Monday, the Moscow-controlled enclave's president Alan Gagloev invoked"uncertainty of the legal consequences of the issue submitted to a referendum".South-east Asia's so-called Golden Triangle has long been an infamous hotspot for drug trafficking, with Myanmar, Laos and Thailand's porous borders and lax local policing allowing illegal substances to slip across.The decree also stressed"the inadmissibility of a unilateral decision of a referendum on issues affecting the legitimate rights and interests of the Russian Federation".As of Sunday night, Agatha was forecast to climb to a Category Three on the Saffir-Simpson scale as it churned about 225km west of Puerto Angel, Mexico, according to a report by the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC).Mr Gagloev ordered"to hold, without delay, consultations with the Russian side on the entire range of issues related to the further integration of South Ossetia and the Russian Federation"."The scale and reach of the methamphetamine and synthetic drug trade in East and South-east Asia is staggering," Mr Jeremy Douglas of UNODC said in a statement.On May 13, Mr Gagloev's predecessor, Mr Anatoly Bibilov, signed a decree on holding the referendum, citing the region's"historic aspiration" to join Russia, his office said at the time.South Korean broadcaster SBS, citing an unnamed high-ranking South Korean defence ministry official, said that the deal could involve up to 100,000 shells from South Korea's reserves, likely sold below market value.

South Ossetia was at the centre of the Russian-Georgian war in 2008 after which the Kremlin recognised the territory - along with another separatist region, Abkhazia - as an independent state and stationed military bases there."Organised crime have all the ingredients in place that they need to continue to grow the business," he said, adding that they crucially had a"massive population with spending power to target".The NHC said the storm was “expected to bring an extremely dangerous storm surge and life-threatening winds to southern Mexico on Monday”.Mr Bibilov lost his bid for re-election earlier this month.Russia has expressed hope that Mr Gagloev will preserve"continuity" in ties with Moscow." "The social consequences of increased use are significant, and health and harm reduction services remain limited across the region," she added.Monday's announcement came on the 96th day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, where Moscow-controlled separatists in Donetsk and Lugansk regions have also expressed interest in joining Russia.The popular surfing destinations of Puerto Escondido and Huatulco set up temporary shelters with a capacity to house 26,800 people and arranged for potential accommodations of another 5,200 in local hotels.The full-scale war on Ukraine has sparked an outpouring of solidarity in Georgia.Myanmar's northern Shan state remains the region's primary source of meth, with the drug increasingly shipped to Laos, then Thailand before reaching Malaysia, where it is trafficked onward to countries throughout the Asia Pacific, the report said.South Korea has provided humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and has shipped non-lethal items including bulletproof helmets and medical kits.

Tbilisi has previously denounced as"unacceptable" plans by South Ossetia to hold a referendum on joining Russia.In August 2008, Russian forces launched an all-out invasion of Georgia, which was battling pro-Russian militia in South Ossetia, after they shelled Georgian villages.The fighting ended five days later with a European Union-mediated ceasefire but claimed more than 700 lives and displaced tens of thousands of ethnic Georgians.More On This Topic.

Read more:
ST Foreign Desk »
Loading news...
Failed to load news.

Record billion meth pills seized in East, South-east Asia last year: UN

Hurricane Agatha strengthens en route towards south-west Mexico

Having shipped artillery shells to Ukraine, Canada asks South Korea for more

A 26-year-old sex-crime fighter dives into South Korean politics

South Korea's Song Kang-ho wins best actor prize in CannesCANNES, FRANCE (AFP) - South Korea's Song Kang-ho clinched the best actor prize in Cannes on Saturday (May 28) for his role in Broker about a woman dropping off an unwanted child in a 'baby box' for adoption. Song, who also starred in the global hit Parasite, plays a...

South Korea wins big at Cannes Film Festival with Best Actor, Best Director awardsStar film-maker Park Chan-wook clinched the best director award for his erotic crime movie Decision To Leave while Song Kang-ho, best known for his role in the Oscar-winning Parasite, picked up the best actor gong for Broker.