Gaps in the law prevent to attract investment to South Ossetia - State Duma deputy

Thu, 13/02/2014 - 10:55

Interview of the Russian State Duma deputy, member of the party "Fair Russia", Deputy Chairman of the Committee on the CIS Affairs, Eurasian integration, South Ossetia and Abkhazia Tatiana Moskalkova.

- Recently in the South Ossetian and Russian media was actively discussed the issue of entering South Ossetia into Russia. What is the position of the party "Fair Russia" on this issue?

- Very reserved. The Russian army rushed to help South Ossetia in August 2008, not to annex its territory. This is a very important step and, in my opinion, in Russia, too, should be conducted a referendum; people have to express their attitude to this matter. Today there are many other forms of integration, enabling the development of our relations in economic terms and in terms of security: simplification of customs border, increased turnover, etc. There are many mechanisms. But if we are talking about unification of the two states, it is a very important step, which requires holding a referendum in Russia.
I think, it is more important for people to preserve their independence, identity, and dual citizenship allows them to enjoy a lot of benefits. We must gradually build our statehood, and I think that today the issue of entering South Ossetia into Russia is premature.

- You have presented a variety of integration possibilities; the focus is on the opportunity to join the Customs Union. What can you say about the position of other members of the organization? Can we count on their recognition of South Ossetia?

- I believe that the recognition of South Ossetia by our strategic partners is our strategic goal. But today to solve this problem is very difficult for several reasons. Building statehood in many CIS countries is taking place under conditions of acute conflicts. These states are concerned about that the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia may lead to aggravation of interethnic relations. On the other hand, the West strongly pressurizes them. In particular, the Eastern Partnership is a very unusual structure. This is not the European Union, but it is established for the CIS, which seems to be attractive, and is a bridge to the European Union, but in fact it is a barrier which drives in a stake between Russia and the CIS.
It stipulates that any state will not receive credit if it recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Any state, which is in economic difficulties, is forced to refrain from recognizing the young states not to aggravate the situation.
To address this issue, there are a lot of ways. First of all, diplomacy must be involved in this issue- official diplomacy, public diplomacy, which raise questions and shape public opinion on this issue.
The second is the media space; it should be involved social network, the Internet.

- How, in your opinion, the warming of relations between Russia and Georgia will affect the relations between Russia and South Ossetia?

- We welcome the warming of relations with Georgia, but in matters of principle we are adamant, in particular, in the question of the document on the non-use of force to be signed by Georgia with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Georgia has set terms that it will sign the agreement with Russia; we insist that the document must be signed with South Ossetia. People are not to blame for the fact that certain circles played the card of extremism, ethnic strife. We, of course, are for restoring relations with the people of Georgia. There are pro-Russian forces there, but there are also the forces which condemn us.
If Georgia repeals the criminal prosecution of citizens who come to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, we are ready to consider the question of the restoration of a visa-free regime.
Moreover, I believe that with the new leadership of Georgia, we must pursue a more purposeful work on the recognition of South Ossetia. I'm sure with the lapse of time these events will be rethought, there will be other assessment.

- Important role in the development of any economy is played by foreign investment attraction, which should be based on an appropriate legislative framework. What regulations must be passed in South Ossetia in order to improve its investment climate?

- Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, the Arbitration Code, the Law on Administrative Offences. Without this, are not established the rules of the game. You apply Russian codes, but it's not quite right. It`s necessary to draw up anti-corruption law, investors must feel themselves protected, understand the rules of the game, tax system, etc. Investor is not here because of the lack of legal framework.
Today Vladislav Surkov is in charge of affairs related to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. He gave a new impetus to the development of the legal framework, as well as to construction process. Administration of the President of Russia pays much attention to this. If South Ossetian society faces corruption, incompetent personnel, it should respond to it.

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