Vladislav Surkov: We will overcome the difficulties that South Ossetia faced in the previous period

Wed, 04/12/2013 - 20:15

Exclusive interview of the Assistant to the President of Russian Federation on Cooperation with the CIS countries, South Ossetia and Abkhazia Vladislav Surkov with the news agency "Res"

- Mr. Surkov, this is your second visit to South Ossetia. Could you share the common impressions of our Republic?

- I am, first of all, impressed by your nature. It`s wonderful, very beautiful. I have travelled all over the Caucasus, but I can say that South Ossetia is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

Naturally, I want to say about the traditional hospitality, very warm attitude to Russia in general and me, in particular. I am very pleased. And I hope that I will justify the trust and friendly attitude, and together with your leadership we`ll do many useful things.

- During a visit to South Ossetia now you have seen the construction and restoration processes in the Republic. How do you assess their progress, how effectively are used the funds of the Investment program for 2012-2013?

- Recently I was in Abkhazia, and publicly praised the building complex of the Republic. To avoid incorrect expressions, I would like to refrain from detailed analysis of the construction works in South Ossetia for several reasons. There is some progress, but there are, of course, problems. Fortunately, the President and his team are well aware of these problems. And here we have a common understanding, speaking the same language. We will overcome the difficulties faced by the Republic in the previous period. I am confident that we will be able to organize the work very efficiently, and the fruits of this work very soon will see the citizens of South Ossetia.

- What is your impression about the economic potential of South Ossetia? What should be a priority for its development? What, in your opinion, is necessary for the development of the social sphere?

- I would like to say that, first of all, we have to live without illusions. There are certain natural and human resources in the Republic. I think that it is actual to raise the question not only of social objects that we are building here, but also to create production enterprises for manufacturing products that are in demand within the Republic and abroad, primarily in Russia . You know that next year we are going to finish most of the facilities that are under construction for several years. We are now seeking funds in Russia for this purpose, and we hope that we will be able to complete the most important social objects in South Ossetia, complete the construction and bring it to a level of quality. Then within six months we need to develop a realistic program for socio-economic development of South Ossetia, in which we will provide for not only the construction of social facilities and infrastructure, but also the enterprises. Naturally, this will require not only the money of the Federal budget, but also the Russian development institutes. We will implement this program. Thus there will be additional sources of new financial instruments to support the Republic, to bring it to a new economic level.

- What kind of relationship you have developed with South Ossetian colleagues - members of the government and the presidential administration? Are there contradictions, problems, and if so, what kind and how are they solved?

- First of all, when I arrive here, I give words of encouragement from President Vladimir Putin addressed to Leonid Tibilov. This support is unconditional, both the human and political. Here we must assume that we have immense respect to the choice of the South Ossetian people and support the current team, which is responsible for the situation in the Republic. If to speak about my relationship with Leonid Tibilov, I`ll call them friendly. Maybe we have known each other not so long, but enough for me to say so. I will always proceed from such attitude towards him, and, consequently, to his team. We deal both with the Presidential Executive Office and the government leaders. We have disagreements, and it is quite normal. We have our point of view, as well as your staff. These differences are not systemic, but rather tactical. And we find a common language very quickly. So we are working with the team of Leonid Tibilov in full mutual understanding. The debates sometimes take place, but they always end with the solutions that suit both parties.

- Russia and South Ossetia have created more than ten working groups that deal with a wide range of issues of socio-economic development of the Republic. How do you think they are effective, whether they are meeting their objectives?

- They work in different ways. There are also a lot of working groups in Russia which do not always effectively cope with their tasks. I believe that as the Republic is not large, it is enough one working group, which consists of me, President Leonid Tibilov, some members of the Russian and South Ossetian governments. I think, this is quite enough to cope with the challenges facing us. There is no sense to create and multiply any unnecessary bureaucratic establishments.

- You said a lot of warm words about South Ossetia, its nature. Do you plan to come here on vacation, but not to work?

Of course, I do. Frankly speaking, we even agreed with the President to somehow climb high into the mountains, attending all of the gorges, I really want this. I really like here, and I'd love to rest here. We will raise the issue of implementation of some tourist programs in South Ossetia. . The nature in South Ossetia is unique, and I think that the Russians will come here on vacation, as it was in former times.
We have, of course, a lot of work. I have briefly mentioned the potential of the Republic and first of all, the opportunities to develop agriculture. I know that North Ossetia always envied you a little because the land is more fertile here. It is possible to produce construction materials both for your own needs and for export. There are valuable timber species, energy supply, water resources, but they certainly require large investments. So everything looks very optimistic.

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