Republic of South Ossetia is located оn the southern slopes of the Main Caucasus Range in the area of 3900 square meters. Тhe capital is the city of Tskhinval.
One-tenth of the surface occupied by the Republic of the foothills.
The rest of the territory - the mountainous terrain height from 850 to 3938 meters above sea level.
The highest point - Mount Halatsa (3938 m).

Briefing of the acting in charge Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of South Ossetia D.G. Sanakoev for republican mass-media on results of the trip to Italy

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David Sanakoev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of RSO: Dear journalists!

In compliance with the external policy of our state, determined by the Guidelines of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our Constitution and the annual Message of the President, a business trip to Italy took place. The purpose of the trip was to extend our political, economic and cultural ties. We carried out a number of meetings with representatives of political parties of Italy and representatives of Italian business. We have been working on economic cooperation to attract investments to our economy. Our Italian colleagues and friends supported us in that.

One of the main achievements was signing of a Cooperation Agreement with Lanusei. Mayor of Tskhinval Alan Alborov and Mayor of Lanusei Davide Ferreli, with active participation of the Italy-South Ossetia Friendship Association, signed Agreement on friendship and cultural, economic cooperation. Above that during the trip we have visited a number of enterprises. During our negotiations we have identified and discussed projects could be implemented jointly on territory of South Ossetia, considering the experience, technologies and possibilities that are available with our Italian colleagues.

We visited Republic of San Marino, had meetings with representatives of political parties that are currently represented at the Parliament of the Republic. The main issues raised by our side have been understood and supported by the other side. We have voiced not only political but economic aspects of our cooperation and got a positive feedback.

This year we expect visits of our Italian partners for further negotiations and practical work on the ground.

I would also like to add that besides the Lanusei town, with which we have signed a Cooperation Agreement, we met with Mayors of Teralba and Tertenia towns and carried out fruitful negotiations with them too. We have started a basis for longstanding cooperation. I believe that during the short time that we had been dealing with our Italian partners we have already progressed. If in the very beginning, last summer, not many people in Italy knew about South Ossetia, now we can say that we have access to the Parliament and upper chamber the Senate. We are developing relations with many political powers that understand the processes that are taking place in South Ossetia, hope of our nation for becoming part of the world.

Irina Kelekhsaeva, ‘Echo of the Caucasus’: In what status have you been to Italy, as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mayor or as NGO representatives?

David Sanakoev, Head of MFA of RSO: As I have already said in the very beginning, we have been following state programme, state goals stated in the legislation and Presidential Message. I was in the status of a Minister, Alan Yurievich as the Head of Tskhinval Administration. By the way, this is how we applied for visas. We received visas as Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Ossetia and as Mayor of Tskhinval.

Irina Kelekhsaeva, ‘Echo of the Caucasus’: Who are your Italian friends, which political parties have you met with?

David Sanakoev, Head of MFA of RSO: Italy-South Ossetia Friendship Association is active in Italy. Members of the Association are increasing in numbers. This public organization is registered in Italy. The Association unites many politicians and businessmen that want to help South Ossetia.

In Italy we met with leftwing parties. Our appeal to Italian Republic was supported by ‘Five Star’ party. We are in close contact with Socialist party of San Marino, which united leftwing parties. We had meetings with other parties with which we are only arranging relations. Above that we met with different representatives of political powers, respected in Italy, that expressed their readiness to support struggle of our nation for its place among the International Community. I would also like to add that we have contacts not only in Italy. We also work with Czech Republic. In this we are very much supported by our Russian colleagues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and representatives of political powers of Russian Federation. Namely, political party ‘Spravedlivaya Rossiya’ made everything possible for us to be able to meet and reach agreements with representatives of political parties of Czech Republic, with socio-democratic party that won parliamentary elections last year, with representatives of the Senate, representatives of business of the Czech Republic.

Irina Kelekhsaeva, ‘Echo of the Caucasus’: I was invited to a meeting with NGOs, during the meeting was mentione a Czech NGO that wanted to come to South Ossetia but was not allowed. What do you know about it and what is the MFA policy in respect of international organizations that would like to work on our territory?

David Sanakoev, Head of MFA of RSO: Policy of our country in respect of international organizations and representatives of other countries was formulated and defined numerous times both by the leadership of our Republic and by MFA. We are ready to work with organizations that recognize the existing realities, want to work and respect laws of RSO. If there are reasons to prevent those organization from working here, those organizations will be informed. Therefore if there is nothing to contradict the requirements, there is nothing to prevent the organizations from working here. Cannot say anything about that particular organization.

Timur Tskhurbati, newspaper ‘21 Seculare’: As you said, you met with different political parties, when they asked you what does South Ossetia want independence of being part of Russian Federation, what was your answer?

David Sanakoev, Head of MFA of RSO: We were not talking about that but I have to reiterate that we work in full compliance with our Constitution and legislation. We fulfill tasks that are raised by our Leadership and our people. Our Constitution says that we are an independent state that has to strengthen its borders, develop its economy, and extend its relations with other countries to become part of the International Community. We do work on those issues, this is my answer to everyone I meet in future. If changes happen, we will react accordingly.

Diana Kozaeva, Informational Agency ‘Res’: What was done by you practically in Italy in respect of recognition of RSO and what happened with your appeal to leaderships of Italy and San Marino?

David Sanakoev, Head of MFA of RSO: Our state made an appeal to Parliament, leadership of Italy and Senate as well as its autonomous territories – Republic of San Marino. We are currently working with Italian political parties so that they could facilitate consideration of our appeal by the Parliament, the Senate and other relevant bodies. Our letters and notes were not rejected by any of those institutions so far.

I would like our Republic to be recognized by the International Community but it will not happen in one day. We have done quite a lot for our state to have a positive image and we continue working in that direction. For that we need not only the MFA to work but all the bodies of our state. This should be a smooth interaction between executive and representative branches of the state. We should have processes in all directions that should make South Ossetia attractive not only for us – citizens of South Ossetia but for representatives of other countries.

Elena Gazzaeva, State TV and Radio Company ‘IR’: What projects could be implemented by the Italians in South Ossetia?

David Sanakoev, Head of MFA of RSO: We had meetings with different entrepreneurs. We have visited a number of businesses that are doing agricultural tourism, including the region where we were located – Ogliastra province. Of course many of what we have seen can be done in South Ossetia. We have visited a cheese and olive oil productions. We have been shown traditional products of Sardinia that are sold not only in Italy but are exported abroad. There are many projects that can be applied here. Manufactures are ready to supply us with the technologies, equipment for wood and stone processing, other productions where Italian technologies are one of the best.

Timur Tskhurbati, newspaper ‘21 Seculare’: Why our diplomacy is so active in Italy?

David Sanakoev, Head of MFA of RSO: We are active not only in Italy, as I already said, we work in different directions but we face significant counteraction on behalf of the Georgian diplomats and their supporters. To develop relations with other countries, we have to be very careful.

This is all I can say for now.

Thank you for your attention and lets meet again.