EU, NATO condemn vote in breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia
The European Union and NATO condemned on Monday presidential elections held in South Ossetia, stressing that they do not recognize the region's self-declared, and Russian-backed, independence from Georgia, DPA reported.
"The European Union does not recognise the constitutional and legal framework within which these elections have taken place," Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said in a statement.
The top two candidates from Sunday's election, a politician favoured by the Kremlin, Anatoly Bibilov, and an education official running on an anti-corruption ticket, Alla Dzhioyeva, are now expected to take part in a run-off.
"The holding of such elections does not contribute to a peaceful and lasting settlement of the situation in Georgia," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a separate statement.
Both the EU and NATO reiterated their support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.