The year is not easy, but interesting: the Foreign Minister of South Ossetia on the results of the outgoing year

Fri, 31/12/2021 - 09:00

South Ossetian Foreign Minister Dmitry Medoev called the outgoing year difficult, but interesting, answering journalists' questions about the results of the year.

“This year we have lost many our citizens, friends, relatives. The fight against the new virus continues, but despite this, the state authorities of the Republic of South Ossetia continue their activities, and no any pandemic has prevented the Foreign Ministry and my colleagues from working effectively. The year turned out to be interesting in terms of foreign policy interaction,” he stressed.

The Foreign Minister has reminded that 2021 began with a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, which took place in January, and the year ends with a meeting with his Russian counterpart on December 20 in Sochi.

"We were able to sum up the results with Sergey Lavrov, compare watches and outline further joint steps in the international arena. We discussed issues related to South Ossetia and Russia.

Sergei Viktorovich has assured us that Russia's relations with our country will remain the same - he will continue to help South Ossetia both in economic development and in strengthening statehood,” he said.

The Foreign Minister has stressed that they also paid attention to the issues related to the neighboring state - Georgia. “We drew attention to the statements that we hear from Tbilisi regarding alleged friendship, brotherhood with the Ossetian people, allegedly the desire for peace and stability - they are smashed to smithereens about the militarization of Georgia. We see how the NATO countries are conducting exercises near our borders, we see Georgia's aspiration to become the NATO member. All this can alarm not only us, but also Russia,” says Medoev.

The Minister has noted that all these exercises, parades and reviews directly threaten the security of southern Russia. According to him, joint measures with Russia will be applied to secure the Republic of South Ossetia and its population. “A number of South Ossetian-Russian agreements concern security and defense - in fact, a single defense space has been formed,” the Minister said.

The dual citizenship agreements

This year, on January 25, a meeting was held in Moscow between the heads of the foreign affairs agencies of South Ossetia and Russia, during the meeting the "Plan of consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation for 2021-2022" was signed.

“In 2021, eight Agreements were concluded between South Ossetia and Russia, which were signed with the direct participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and accompanied by the process of signing documents,” he explained.

Medoev has also touched upon the Agreement on the settlement of issues of dual citizenship, which was signed on September 20 this year at the South Ossetian Foreign Ministry. The Foreign Minister believes that this agreement is very important for South Ossetia and for Russia.

“The document was being prepared for several years, and it is gratifying to note that it was signed on the day of our state holiday – the Republic Day. For our part, the document was signed by the Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of South Ossetia Marat Kulakhmetov.

The agreement defines the procedure by which citizens of South Ossetia can acquire Russian citizenship in a simplified manner. And here it is worth noting that on December 1 of this year, the South Ossetian Parliament ratified this agreement, and we hope in early 2022, when the Federal Assembly starts work, it will be ratified,” the Minister said.

Medoev added that only after the ratification of the agreement, the two parties will exchange instruments of ratification and it will come into force. According to him, based on the fact that the Agreement changes the procedure for acquisition the citizenship, introduces a preferential regime for citizens, it will be necessary to make some changes to the bylaws so that every citizen who wants to acquire citizenship of the parties knows exactly what steps he needs to take. He has assured that explanatory information will be brought to everyone through the mass media of the Republic.

Twin cities

In 2021, particular importance was attached to the deepening of relations between the Republic of South Ossetia and the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. On May 12, in the mode of videoconference, an Agreement was signed on the establishment of twinning relations between the city of Tskhinval and the city of Vladivostok.

“And this is no coincidence. There is a large Ossetian diaspora in Vladivostok, which unites our citizens, in addition, the honorary consul Yason Demeev works in this city, who is working in the interests of South Ossetia. Earlier, Vladivostok signed an agreement on twinning with Vladikavkaz. That is, we have joined the ranks of twinning and will continue the topic of twinning,” the Minister said.

He has reminded that Tskhinval has agreements with two Italian cities - Gradara and Randazzo. “Their representatives were in South Ossetia, and one agreement was signed in Tskhinval. This positive topic has the right to be part of the foreign policy action of our ministry and we will also continue it next year,” Medoev said.

Expand diplomatic geography

This year, a number of official visits took place, including the visit of President of Abkhazia Aslan Bzhania and the return visit of President Anatoly Bibilov to this country. Dmitry Medoev believes that the Ossetian-Abkhaz relations have deep historical roots and the friendship of the peoples of the two countries continues for many centuries.

“And after the recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, our relations have grown into a qualitatively different form and are of an interstate nature. A number of agreements have been signed between the republics on the development of cultural, economic and humanitarian ties, which will continue to develop. We also intend to expand the geography of South Ossetia's presence in the post-Soviet space,” the Foreign Minister noted.

According to him, the independence of South Ossetia was recognized by the UN member states, and the work of the Foreign Ministry will continue in Latin American, European and Asian directions. “To expand recognition among the countries with which we have contacts and certain relations and to bring them to their logical conclusion is the direction of Anatoly Bibilov,” the Minister emphasized.

The South Ossetian delegation took part as international observers at the election of the President of Nicaragua. The Minister said that representatives of South Ossetia would also participate in the inauguration ceremony of President Daniel Ortega. He has reminded that earlier, the South Ossetian delegation led by Speaker Alan Tadtaev also took part as international observers in the elections in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The South Ossetian Foreign Ministry is actively developing relations with the diasporas. “Turkey has a large diaspora that occupies a certain place among other Caucasian diasporas. Together with other national organizations of Abkhazians, Adygs, Kabardians, Chechens and others, they hold joint celebrations and participate in the events dedicated to the common Caucasian theme. And recently, an evening was held in the Turkish republic in memory of the Ossetian diplomat Remzi Kanukov, who, unfortunately, passed away last December,” the Minister said.

According to him, an important meeting in this context was also held in the parliament of the Italian republic, where Dmitry Medoev was on a visit on the invitation of the Secretary General of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

“We held productive negotiations, the interest in the Caucasus and Ossetia among the Italian deputies is great, and despite the fact that we do not have official relations with the Italian Republic, we are doing a lot there, which can lead to an increase in South Ossetia's recognition in Europe. And this is very important,” he said.

The President's assessment

The head of the Foreign Ministry said that the head of state Anatoly Bibilov had praised the work of the Foreign Ministry. The Minister assured that the Foreign Ministry would continue to pursue a firm line in the foreign policy arena aimed at further recognition as a sovereign state, to defend the interests of South Ossetia wherever there are South Ossetian citizens and to conduct a dialogue with representatives of the Ossetian diasporas.

Dmitry Medoev congratulated the people of South Ossetia on the upcoming New Year and wished everyone health and prosperity.

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