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).

South Ossetian Acting Foreign Minister Kazbulat Tskhovrebov Interview to South Ossetia newspaper

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- The professional day of South Ossetia diplomacy is celebrated on May, 28. It is possible to say that South Ossetia diplomacy came to a new, qualitative level compared to the time the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RSO had been established? What is the main focus area of the activity conducted by South Ossetian Foreign Ministry, if we take into consideration the current political situation?

- On May, 28 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia was established 23 years ago. Traditionally we now celebrate this date as the Day of South Ossetian diplomacy.

In extreme conditions, when a threat of genocide organized by Georgia hovered over South Ossetia people, the Ministry of Foreign Relations was found among several other ministries on May 28, 1992. Later it was renamed into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and became one of the most important institutes of the independent South Ossetia. Representing public interests in difficult conditions of international isolation, non-recognition, threat of armed conflicts and pressure from the international community was especially difficult. Nevertheless we have never given up. From the beginning of its activity the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia has been fighting for interests of the state and its people on diplomatic fronts, giving invaluable contribution to maintaining peace in the region, promoting in every possible way further strengthening of the country’s independence.

Recognition of South Ossetian independence by the Russian Federation became a natural result of this activity and marked a new, major step in foreign policy lead by foreign department of our state. It goes without saying that after the recognition and establishing diplomatic relations the number of questions the Ministry is in charge has increased significantly. However, the main objectives for us remain strengthening of foreign positions of the Republic of South Ossetia, conducting work on implementing the state foreign policy determined by the President, representing national interests of South Ossetia, defending sovereignty of the Republic and its citizens who live outside the Republic territory, creating favorable external environment for social and economic development of the country.

Further development and strengthening of friendly ties with the Russian Federation and sub-federal regions are prior goals of our political activity.

After Georgian military aggression and recognition of the Republic by the Russian Federation in August, 2008 contractual relations regulated by international legislation are being established between our states.

Currently the contractual legal framework of South Ossetia and Russia relations consists of more than 80 agreements. Another function of the Ministry is control over these agreements performance.

To develop the Treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance between the Republic of South Ossetia and the Russian Federation, dated September, 17, 2008, the Treaty on Alliance and Integration, that marks a new stage in developing interstate relations between our countries, was signed on March 18, 2015.

The treaty is aimed to increase integration level between the two states. According to the treaty, a joint defense and security area guaranteeing peace and stability in the region would be created. The main lines of bilateral cooperation in economic, social, humanitarian spheres development have also been defined. As this document is a framework contract, we have to conclude bilateral agreements on specific spheres of cooperation later.

We also are strengthening ties with sister republics – the Republic of Abkhazia, the Moldovan Transdniestrian Republic, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. We have been fighting shoulder to shoulder asserting the legitimate right for an independent way of development for many years. They were foreign ministries of our republics who established a permanent Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in 2000. During the summit, where South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transniesria Presidents met, the Community “For Democracy and Rights of the People” aimed at protecting common interests at international level and strengthening statehoods was found in June, 2006.

One of the most important spheres of our activity is conducting consular work on solution of problems of South Ossetia citizens living outside the Republic as well as issues of residence of foreigners in the Republic.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs carries out an important work aimed at extension of the list of friendly countries, developing contacts, organizing meetings at various levels.

Our main objective is strengthening international positions of the Republic of South Ossetia. Despite the problems the Republic is facing we are optimistic.

- A number of geographically remote states recognized the independence of South Ossetia. This year has seen enhancing cooperation with Venezuela and Nauru at diplomatic level. As things stand now, can we expect bilateral relations between the states gaining further development? In what spheres did we sign agreements with Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru, the states that had recognized us?

- South Ossetian Foreign Ministry conducts active work in establishing contacts with many countries over the world.

The independence of South Ossetia has been recognized except Russia by Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru and Tuvalu– the states we develop interstate relations with.

Visit of a Nauruan delegation headed by David Adeang, the Vice President, that took place on April, 22 is one of the important recent events. The intention to strengthen and develop bilateral relations in specific spheres was confirmed during a meeting with President Tibilov. The possibility of developing agreements in various spheres in general and an agreement on mutual visa-free trips in particular, was discussed as well. Appointing consuls and organizing not only government delegations exchanges but also creative and sport teams was offered.

Delsey Rodriguez, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, hosted a meeting with Daniel Tibilov, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Ossetia in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, who delivered copies of credentials to the Minister on April, 15.

On April, 23 Daniel Tibilov, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in the Republic of Nicaragua, handed in Managua copies of credentials to Samuel Santos Lopez, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Nicaragua.

Despite considerable activity of Georgia, the USA and the European Union against the process of South Ossetia recognition, a work on establishing diplomatic communications with governments of a number of countries is conducted constantly. Unfortunately, opportunities of our small Republic are often not so great. It is the Russian Federation the state that gives us full support. We hope for success in this important sphere of activity.

The following agreements are signed with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela:
- The General Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of South Ossetia and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela;
- The Intergovernmental Agreement on Establishing Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of South Ossetia and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela;
- The Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding on Estabishing a Mechanism of Political Consultations.

Similar documents are signed with the Republic of Nicaragua.

- Under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs South Ossetian applicants enter MGIMO annually. As far as we know, the first group of young South Ossetian diplomats has been graduating this year. How would the problem of these specialists employment be solved? Is it obligatory for them to return to South Ossetia Foreign Ministry?
Taking into consideration modest scales of the activity conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and small number of established posts, is there any necessity in directing applicants to MGIMO still?

- In pursuance of the Direction issued by the President of the Russian Federation, the Republic of South Ossetia got opportunity to receive annually target places in Russian institutes of higher education in sphere of diplomatic relations.

Annually we have been sending five students to MGIMO since 2010. Our task is to choose the most capable, perspective applicants to give them prestigious education which would allow them to work successfully in various areas. Also we give opportunities to employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RSO to be trained in Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry or to attend short-term training or refresher courses in the Academy.

Skilled personnel is necessary for our young state and for this reason contracts according to which every applicant recommended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is obliged to return after graduation and start working here, would be signed.

As far as it is possible, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would recruit graduates of MGIMO. Naturally, we won’t have enough vacant places. But I don't think it would be difficult for these young people to find in Homeland application of the gained knowledge. MGIMO is one of the most prestigious Russian institutes of higher education and its graduates are traditionally much demanded.

- South Ossetia recognized the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Diplomatic missions of these young states have been opened in Tskhinval recently. At what level are interstate relations with these republics?

- June, 18 and 27, 2014 saw Presidential Decrees under which LPR and DPR are recognized correspondingly.

In pursuance of the President decrees “About recognition of the Donetsk People's Republic” and “About recognition of the Lugansk People’s Republic” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RSO contacted foreign policy departments of both republics with purpose of establishing diplomatic relations.

Diplomatic missions of South Ossetia were opened in the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic on April, 16.

Later, on April, 28, official opening ceremony of diplomatic missions of DPR and LPR took place in Tskhinval.

Work conducted by the missions would promote strengthening friendly ties between our states and establishing bilateral relations in humanitarian, economic and other spheres for the benefit of the nations with similar historical destinies.

People in South Ossetia are following the events in Donetsk and Lugansk and emphasize deeply citizens of the Republics. We wish these long-suffering countries peace.

We are ready for effective cooperation on friendly and equal basis and would take advantage of the available opportunities.

- What would you wish your colleagues on the professional holiday of South Ossetia diplomacy?

- May, 28 is a professional holiday for all South Ossetia diplomats. We are facing major tasks related to effective, timely and accurate implementation of foreign policy defined by the government.

Many worthy men who continue their work at different responsible positions for the benefit of our Republic now were heading the Ministry for many years.

I would like to congratulate all South Ossetia diplomats with their professional holiday, wish them good health and success in their difficult work for the benefit of South Ossetia.

Also anticipating the coming anniversary of the Act of Declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Ossetia I would like to congratulate each resident of the country with this holiday and wish peace and wellbeing to everyone.