The answer of the South Ossetia Minister for Foreign Affairs Murat Dzhioev to the question of information agency ‘Res’

Georgian mass media has started again to bring up the question of delivering of so-called neutral passports to the residents of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Georgian authorities these days. It has been reported about extremely negative reaction of Abkhazian authorities to the attempts of some international organizations working in Abkhazia to distribute these passports among the residents of Abkhazia. The reporter of ‘RES’ Agency asked the Republic of South Ossetia Minister for Foreign Affairs Murat Jioev to comment the problem of ‘neutral’ passports.

- The next ‘initiative’ of Georgian President on so- called ‘restoration of territorial integrity’ of Georgia is in turn. Since 2004 there have been initiated so many ideas of this kind, that to my mind, Georgian authorities have got confused themselves. We can recollect one of the enterprises on ‘humanitarian fertilizing – sasuki ’ which they tried to foist on the residents of South Ossetia in 2004. Today`s initiative with neutral passports is in a watercourse of so-called strategy of Georgian government in relation to ‘conflict regions’ and the law ‘On occupied territories’. I believe that making these attempts Georgian authorities try to hide their responsibility for the aggression against South Ossetia in August 2008.

Now about these ‘passports’. The absolute majority of South Ossetia citizens holding Russian citizenship on legal grounds as , possess as identification documents the passports of South Ossetia and Russian Federation which let them travel around the world. There is no point in receiving those obscure ‘passports’ of the country, which has produced only aggression, wreckage and extermination attempts. Last year the representatives of South Ossetia more than once expressed their point of view on this subject clearly in mass media. There is no one willing to get those documents.

It is remarkable that through this attempt to deliver neutral passports Georgian authorities actually recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and the fact that they are not the ‘occupied territories of Georgia’. According to Georgian authorities ‘neutral’ documents without national symbol will let their ‘happy’ owners travel around the territory of Georgia, study at Georgia institutes of higher education, receive Georgian pensions (it is interesting to know how well these pensions support the lives of their Georgian pensioners). Though their owners are not the citizens of Georgia and do not have the right to vote. Therefore Georgian authorities admit that residents of South Ossetia having obtained Georgian neutral passports are not the citizens of Georgia(which is true), so, the territory of South Ossetia where noncitizens of Georgia reside, and which have founded their state and are constituting international links in accordance to international law, in no way can be considered ‘occupied Georgian territory’.

The developers of this project want to decoy people with the fact that those passports will have as an attachment a travel document allowing them to acquire visas to foreign countries. By this time only two countries had agreed to consider such documents. And again, who needs to substitute real documents for illusory?!

To my mind it is one more adventure. It would be better for the authorities of Georgia instead of opening ‘neutral passports’ issuing points close to South Ossetia and Abkhazia border lines to switch from such clumsy propagandistic steps to establishing real links of confidence and good-neighborly relations with South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Tskhinval, 26 January, 2012