TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia makes Russian its second state language.

The region’s elected assembly adopted a constitutional law called “On State Language of the Republic of South Ossetia”, which obliges the de facto state’s bodies to use both Ossetian and Russian language when carrying out their duties.

“The normative act aims to protect and develop linguistic culture in South Ossetia, to create the conditions for its full functioning. At the same time it won’t affect the rights of the citizens of South Ossetia, who use other languages,” Ria Novosti quotes Mira Tskhovrebova, Vice Speaker of the assembly and Chair of the committee on national politics, culture, education, science, religion and the media.

Until now, Russian had status as official language, but Ossetian was the only language used by the state administration.

In mid-November last year de-facto South Ossetia held a national referendum on making Russian a state language. 84% voted in favor, while 16% voted against.

The so-called parliament of the region, which is currently occupied by Russia, also approved a five-year program to preserve, study and develop the Ossetian language.