EU refuses to recognise South Ossetia election
(BRUSSELS) - The European Union refused on Monday to recognise a leadership election in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia.
"The European Union does not recognise the constitutional and legal framework within which these elections have taken place," the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement.
Ashton "reiterates her support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, as recognised by international law," the statement said.
South Ossetia held an election on Sunday in the third attempt since November to elect a leader amid political turmoil in the tiny conflict-ravaged region.
Former local KGB security chief Leonid Tibilov had a strong lead after all the ballots were counted, but did not reach the 50 percent needed to win outright, the Moscow-backed rebel province's official news agency said.
Ashton stressed "the importance" of EU-mediated talks between Russia and Georgia in Geneva aimed at "ensuring the security and stability in the region."
Georgians and Russians have been meeting regularly since 2008 in Geneva in a bid to prevent another flare-up of violence over South Ossetia and another rebel region, Abkhazia, both of which Moscow has recognised as independent.
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