South Ossetian Foreign Minister Dmitriy Medoev’s Interview to South Ossetia Newspaper

- Nine years ago diplomatic relations were established between the Republic of South Ossetia and the Russian Federation. What are, in your opinion, the results of the development of South Ossetian-Russian relations over this time? What is their significance not only in framework of intergovernmental format, but in view of strengthening stability and security in the South Caucasus?

- I remember those days very well. Everything was happening in the Reception House of the Russian Foreign Ministry at 17, Spiridonovka Street. Murat Dzhioev, the Minister, arrived in Moscow with a note, where it was written that “on behalf of the Republic of South Ossetia the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia has the honor to offer establishing diplomatic relations at level of Embassies”. The answering note by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, which was announced by Minister Lavrov, contained the consent of the Russian Federation to establish diplomatic relations. Then, at the same place, in solemn surroundings the exchange of notes took place, which constituted the agreement on establishment of diplomatic relations.

In practice, that event became a logical end of the stage of recognition of the independence of the Republic of South Ossetia by the Russian Federation and ushered in a new era for the people of South Ossetia – the era of peace and creation, stability and development and faith in peaceful future. Indeed, those were historic days, the beginning of a new way, and that times demanded big efforts and completely different approaches.

By the way, we have another date to celebrate – 9 years since the date of signing of the fundamental document - the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance which was signed by the Presidents of our states in Kremlin on September 17, 2008.

- Days of recognition of South Ossetia by Nicaragua (recognized the Republic on September 03, 2008) and Venezuela (recognized the Republic on September 10, 2009) are celebrated in September. From the perspective of extension of international recognition of South Ossetia, the Latin direction has been estimated as one of the most promising ones from the very beginning. How effectively the opportunities in the direction have been used? And what is the South Ossetian diplomacy action plan now, after the situation in the region has become rather complicated, having in mind the attempts to organize a color revolution in Venezuela as well as the increase of American pressure on the countries of Latin America in general?

- We have congratulated our colleagues in Nicaragua and Venezuela on this day, having noted the importance of further deepening of the bilateral relations. We are present in the region and we could, possibly, expect geographical expansion. We observe in other countries the processes that are running in Venezuela. In my opinion colour revolutions are hardly possible in Latin America, because nearly each country in the region has its own revolutionary and counterrevolutionary experience. Anyway, the Ministry conducts certain work not only in this part of the world and intends to continue it.

- Abkhazia is keen to build up interaction with the Syrian Arab Republic. Does the MFA of South Ossetia have similar plans?

- While speaking about Syria one should say that this country became the second homeland for several Caucasian nations, including the Ossetians, who moved there as well as to Turkey and Jordan during in times of the Mahajirs. We stay in touch with the expats communities in these countries. We also cooperate closely with our Abkhaz colleagues, who we have established close contact with to solve issues of mutual interest and interact at the international arena. Search of new possibilities and establishment of the widest cooperation is on our agenda.

- September 2 saw celebrations on the occasion of the Day of the Republic of the fraternal Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, which has already been the partner of our state for many years. Meanwhile, attempts of Moldovan authorities to impede contacts of Tiraspol with other states, including South Ossetia, have been observed over the last years. In particular, South Ossetian delegation, headed by Igor Kozaev, the Chief of Administration of the President of the Republic of South Ossetia, has been banned from visiting the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic recently. Earlier several members of the Parliament of the Republic of South Ossetia were not allowed to enter the territory of Republic. How are the relations between our states being structured in such a difficult environment?

- We reacted on the incident. Indeed, it was not the first one; there have been similar actions earlier. Certainly it’s a pity, but nothing could be done. The situation in Moldova reminds of the state of affairs in Georgia and Ukraine – the government is captured by oligarchies, which are in account with affluent international political and financial groups. People live their own life and authorities theirs. The people have supported Igor Dodon, and the Constitution of Moldova, prepared in advance on such case which doesn't allow the President to make these or those steps is a know-how of the Western democracy.

The same we have noted in our statement - the shortsighted political decisions made by the official Chisinau put at risk the tentative harmonization of the positions of the parties and the dialogue between the heads of the states, which is of vital importance for the process of settlement of relations between Pridnestrovie and Moldova.
In one thing we are confident – attempts to limit the political activity of Pridnestrovie will in no way interfere with further expansion of all-round ties and consolidation of friendly relations and partnership between South Ossetia and Pridnestrivie.

- Development of cooperation with the Donetsk People’s Republics and the Lugansk People’s Republics became one of the priorities of the foreign policy, pursued by South Ossetia. What are the perspectives of interstate relations with the Republics in Donbass, and what can you say about the significance of the support to the struggle for self-determination, given by South Ossetia to the Republics?

- Things happening in the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk are nothing else but a civil war among one nation. This fratricidal war is necessary neither for Russians, nor for Ukrainians, but enemies of Russia and Ukraine make use of it. There won’t be news if I repeat the words of leading scientists that the Russians and the Ukrainians are a one nation, and it is a travesty that blood runs and civilians are killed for strangers’ benefit. We in South Ossetia went through all this in 1990’s, but the most obviously the new democrats of Georgia showed their face in 2008. The screenwriters and the directors are the same, as, by the way, the currency used to pay for the genocide of the Russians in Donbass.

In those conditions we couldn’t but support the heroic people of Donbass in their struggle for the right to live peacefully and raise children in their home land.

- From the very beginning the Caucasus direction is one of the most pressing problems of the foreign policy of South Ossetia. How can coordination of actions between Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorny Karabakh help in prevention of escalation of tensions in the region, which the revanchist forces of several republics in Transcaucasia, being supported by Western countries, have initiated again?

- I do not consider the Caucasus direction as an acute problem of our diplomacy. On the contrary, we are trying to build smooth and good-neighboring relations with all our neighboring states. In some cases we succeed in this, in others the result is not so good, and sometimes there is no positive result at all. However, we have to continue the work, search shared interests, common grounds, and it is not necessary at all that only pure policy is involved. We have to develop economic and humanitarian ties across the Caucasus, as it is a united geopolitical and ethnosocial organism, which was historically formed during the recent centuries and cannot exist separately. Non-recognition of the existing realities could only slow down the natural processes.

- Recently the South Ossetian Foreign Ministry reacted rather harsh to the actions of the Georgian authorities, who banned citizens of the Kob hollow, Tyrsygom and Kudycom from entering their home lands. The problem is widely discussed in the media across the both parts of Ossetia. What will South Ossetia do next to protect the rights of citizens of Eastern Ossetia?

- Henceforth we would rigidly react to threats to our whole nation. South Ossetia is indivisible as well as it national territory. No matter in which hands are its parts currently it is passing over. From the beginning of the 20th century till the beginning of the 21st century Georgian authorities regularly organized ethnical cleansings of the Ossetians, forcibly resettled them from one place to another, unleashed massacres and drove out from the ancestral territories. At first it was done by the Mensheviks in 1920, and then the policy was taken on board by the Bolsheviks in 1937-1938. Later, in 1949-1953 the Georgian Communists were doing the same, but with the use of so-called soft power, the policy of assimilation and cultural genocide. As for the things that were taking place right in front of our generation’s eyes, they are nothing else but neo-fascism.

If not the courage and bravery of the vanguard group of our clerisy, the youth and the students of late 1980th as well as the whole national protest against the creeping fascism, then we wouldn’t even have the opportunity to speak about the Ossetian ethnical element in South Ossetia not to mention statehood. Nobody in the so-called civilized world is interested neither in the fate of the Serbs from the Serbian Krajina nor in the genocide in Ruanda. The same would have happened to the South Ossetians, unless the nation raised the banner of the national liberation struggle in distant 1990’s, unless Russia interfered in 2008, unless the Russian Federation made the decision on recognition of our Republic and later another one on the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Here I would like to avail of the opportunity and on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and me personally congratulate the citizens of the Republic on this remarkable day and convey the warmest wishes to the Russian diplomats, accredited to South Ossetia.