David Sanakoev: a priority of the foreign policy of South Ossetia remains cooperation with Russia

Thu, 14/11/2013 - 19:58

Interview of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Ossetia David Sanakoev with IA "Res"

- What are today`s priorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?

First of all, the main priority in our foreign policy is to ensure worthy place for the Republic of South Ossetia in the international community. Success in foreign policy is inextricably linked to the dynamic development of the state, so we must apply all efforts to make the image of the Republic of South Ossetia maximally attractive to a broader development of relations with all countries of the world.
The priority of the foreign policy of South Ossetia has been and remains co-operation with the Russian Federation. You know that the Republic of South Ossetia has always been politically focused on the Russian Federation; we have the relationship with Russia in all spheres of our life. The people of South Ossetia value the warm, friendly relationship, historically established with the people of Russia and highly appreciate the assistance and support provided by Russia to South Ossetia. So, one of the most important directions of our foreign policy is to increase the full- scale cooperation with the Russian Federation and the work in this direction is ongoing.
Since August 2008 it was concluded about seventy international agreements between the Republic of South Ossetia and the Russian Federation. They cover a wide range of the interstate, intergovernmental and interdepartmental cooperation issues. More than 20 agreements are at the development stage, including the agreement on settling the problem of dual citizenship, the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Ossetia on the Russian- South Ossetian state border.
At the same time, it is important for us to establish friendly, equal and partner relations with all states.

- Is the main aspect of the foreign policy of South Ossetia - further international recognition of the Republic? What are the main challenges in this work?

For our young state, of course, it is important the international recognition. The work in this area is ongoing. Assistance to strengthen the international position of the Republic of South Ossetia has been provided by the Russian Federation. We try to overcome the existing stereotypes of the past in the West, promoted by official Tbilisi and show the world that South Ossetia is a viable state, which has arisen as a result of realization of the right of nations to self-determination. We also understand that the most important thing to recognize any state - is to create within it a favorable socio -political situation, the strengthening of democratic principles. This is not a quick process, requiring constant attention, but we are moving steadily towards our goal. And we are confident that the example of Russia and the states that have recognized the Republic of South Ossetia will be followed by others. We are ready for open cooperation with all countries on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, respect and regard for each other's interests.

- Recently, South Ossetia and Abkhazia have applied to Italy and San Marino to recognize their independence. It has also been noted that South Ossetia has active contacts with a number of other countries. Can we soon expect the recognition of our state?

As I said, the work on the recognition of South Ossetia is a continuous process. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs carries out these activities in different directions. Over the years, we have managed to significantly expand the political geography of the contacts.
Since we do not have formal diplomatic relations with most countries of the world, we use other formats. Our representatives work in various countries, including Italy and San Marino. We find understanding and support of the interests of the Republic of South Ossetia in various political circles of these countries and are working on further development of the results achieved.
At the same time we must not forget that Georgia and other states, which oppose our independence, are trying to obstruct the process of further recognition, putting pressure on those countries which intend to take appropriate steps in the direction of our recognition. It's not a secret that the states which have recognized South Ossetia experience strong political and economic pressure from the United States and the European Union. This factor, of course, complicates the process of further recognition of South Ossetia.

- How are developing relations with the countries that have recognized the independence of South Ossetia? What are the priority areas of cooperation?

The Republic of South Ossetia seeks to develop relationship and establish friendly ties with all countries. To date, besides Russia, the independence of South Ossetia was recognized by Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Tuvalu, with which we develop inter-state relations. The long-standing relationships we have established with the Republic of Abkhazia, Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, Nagorno -Karabakh Republic, with which for many years we have been developing inter-state relations based on friendship, cooperation and mutual respect.
The work on issues of mutual cooperation, the development of trade-economic and cultural ties to further deepen the partnership is essential and we consider these issues, discuss and find understanding. Recently, the Republic was visited by the Embassy staff of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the Republic of South Ossetia. They held a meeting with the faculty and students of the South Ossetian State University and delivered a lecture on the theme "Achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela in the field of culture." There's also a screening of the film about Venezuela.
It is important for us to develop and strengthen further mutually beneficial cooperation with the countries that have recognized the independence of South Ossetia, as well as to give a new impetus to the work with diaspora communities and countries that have not yet recognized our independence.

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