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).

Press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia

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The 45th round of the GID, in which the South Ossetian Foreign Minister Dmitii Medoev is participating, is held in Geneva on October 9-10.

The Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia, which are held in accordance with Medvedev-Sarkozy's agreements reached after the Georgian armed aggression against South Ossetia in August 2008, will celebrate this October their 10th anniversary.

The main objective of the Discussions is maintaining stability South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Representatives of Abkhazia, Georgia, South Ossetia, Russia and the USA are participating in the Discussions, chaired by representatives of the EU, the UN and the OSCE. The Discussions are held in two working groups – on security and humanitarian issues.

In light of the 10th anniversary of the Discussions Dmitrii Medoev has made a report at the 45th round.

Report of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia Dmitrii Medoev at the 45th round of the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Discussions

Dear colleagues, the decision to participate in this round of the Geneva discussions was to a great extent promoted by a significant, in our opinion, date - 10 years from the start of the Geneva International Discussions, which are held in accordance with Medvedev-Sarkozy's agreements reached after the Georgian armed aggression against South Ossetia in August 2008.

Ten years is a long enough period so that nobody, even the most consistent anti-Ossetian and anti-Russian representatives of the international community, has any doubts about who and why unleashed that war, and destroyed by this aggressive policy the format of the Joint Control Committee (JCC) for Georgian-Ossetian Conflict Resolution, which had been acting in accordance with international agreements by August 2008. Flagrant violation of all existing agreements, including general provisions of the Agreement on Principles of Settlement of the Georgian - Ossetian Conflict dated July 24, 1992 and the Agreement on Further Process of Peaceful Settlement of the Georgian - Ossetian Conflict as well as the Agreement on the Joint Control Committee (JCC) dated October 31, 1994 became possible as a result of the culpable lack of responsibility of Georgia and its foreign patrons.

Unfortunately, for the time being the Geneva Discussions remain the only international platform where a direct dialogue between South Ossetia’s representatives and other interested parties is conducted under the co-chairmanship of the EU, the UN and the OSCE. On behalf of my Government I express appreciation to these international organizations for the opportunity to directly acquaint the international participants of the format with our position.

For all these ten years South Ossetia has demonstrated its readiness for full-scale work on maintaining security in the region, which is the main purpose of the Discussions.

From the first round of the Discussion our position remains unchanged - the GID should contribute to development of security conditions in order to reduce to zero the risk of recurrence of the Georgian aggression against the Republic of South Ossetia and the Republic of Abkhazia.

Unfortunately, this fully grounded position of South Ossetia is not well received in Geneva. The wording of a joint statement by the participants on their commitment to the principle of non-use of force, which is one of the pillars of international law, is being discussed in Geneva for too long. Despite the fact that the states, which we are representing here, would incur no obligations, this statement could become the first, even small, but a very conducive step towards establishing an atmosphere of trust, which is essential for further building relations and development of a solid system of regional security and stability. In our opinion the main security element of this system is achievement of agreements on non-use of force between Georgia and South Ossetia and Georgia and Abkhazia, which should have international guarantees of their implementation as well. We are ready for this work.

However, to my great regret, we have to state about the incapacity of the Georgian side for this work, since it has been breaking down the adoption of this essentially simple joint statement again and again.

Moreover, in Geneva we are witnessing attempts to shift the emphasis in topics under discussion, to politicize issues, to ignore demonstratively the position of the Republic of South Ossetia, which representatives are invited to Geneva as rightful participants in the multilateral format, and to reduce the GID to a discussion of Georgian claims against other parties.

The appeal to Georgian authorities, voiced by South Ossetia numerous times, to get to joint works on delimitation and demarcation of the state border between South Ossetia and Georgia as it is common in the world, has not been received well either. Resolution of this issue would undoubtedly eliminate large number of everyday problems and border incidents and would fully meet the interests of citizens living on both sides of the state border.

Today the problem of refugees, which has been extremely relevant for us from the early 90-s of the 20th century, is particularly acute. We consider it unacceptable the situation when the Georgian Government was given the opportunity to undertake everything possible and impossible in order to block the possibility of discussing ways of this problem solution in framework of the Geneva Discussions.
In this regard, not only the non-implementation of its own legislation, but also ignorance of international agreements is a lamentable indicator of low negotiability and irresponsibility of the Georgian party.

Thus, according to the Agreement between Governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Georgia on Economic Recovery of the Areas within the Georgian-Ossetian Conflict Zone dated September 14, 1993, the amount of damage caused to South Ossetia by the armed attack of troops of the so-called State Council of Georgia totaled 34.2 billion rubles (in 1992 prices). The Government of Georgia assumed the obligation to pay two thirds of this amount, while the rest amount was expected to be paid by the Russian side. And while Russia met its obligations fully, the Agreement for the Georgian party remained ink on paper.

The same happened to the Law on Property Restitution, which was adopted in Georgia under the pressure of the European Council in 2006. The Law provided for a number of measures aimed at solution of housing problems and compensation payments to those Ossetians who were driven from their homes in Georgia in 1990s and became refugees in South Ossetia and the Russian Federation. And there are more than a hundred thousand of these people!

Dear participants, therefore I see no reason for not saying it loudly: it is Georgia that is interested in blocking the discussion of the problems of refugees in Geneva, since it has been seeking adoption of overweighted politicized resolutions at various international platforms. Resolutions, which have just been reiterating tiresome words about the so-called territorial integrity of Georgia, and which not only have failed to bring closer solution of the issue of refugees, but even have blocked its discussion in Geneva.

Here another question addressed to international organizations arises. How long will another blockade, preventing representatives of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from stating their positions at international platforms, last? It is counterproductive.

However, on the other hand, apart from the existing problems dynamics of positive solution to certain issues could be observed.

Reaching of an agreement in February 2009 on establishment of IPRM for resolution of issues arising in border area through regular and special meetings of representatives of South Ossetia and Georgia as well as creation of a 24-hour hotline is among those positive changes.

Discussion on usage of terms “occupation” and “occupied territories” in relation to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which took place at the 20th round, when international experts were invited by the EU, was an achievement of no less importance. I would like to note that so far not a single argument has been made so that one could consider the Russian presence in South Ossetia and Abkhazia as “occupation” or consider the territories of our states as the “occupied” ones.

However, we see that the running Georgian authorities, who have replaced Saakashvili’s government, and even current Presidential candidates are pushing these particular terms with the persistency that deserves better application, and are actively speculating with anti-Ossetian and anti-Russian themes in order to advance their opportunistic political objectives.

The fact that a representative of the failed project - the so-called “alternative Government of South Ossetia” fits quite well into the Georgian delegation even today is a good example of the fact that the new Georgian authorities do not differ much from their predecessors.

We are convinced that minimization of the impact of the Georgian internal policy agenda on the work of the participants of the Discussions would promote increasing the efficiency of the Discussions and getting the work on the most important problems moving.

Despite the lengthy process of the Discussions, their significance did not diminish. The Co-Chairs of the Discussions have already done and still have been doing a lot in order to preserve the delicate balance of interests of the negotiators.

Authorities of the Swiss Confederation deserve special words of appreciation for facilitating the creation of conditions for a thorough discussion on the issues of our concern.

We are grateful to representatives of the UN Office in Geneva and all representatives of international organizations, involved in the process, for active engagement.

In conclusion I would like to emphasize that the relevance of the GID for South Ossetia would remain until true security guarantees are achieved and the possibility of resumption of war, as it was in August 2008, is excluded.

At the same time I would like to address our distinguished Co-Chairs with a proposal to make additional efforts to enhance the efficiency of the work of this essential format. The South Ossetian party expresses its desire and readiness to contribute to this in every possible way.

Thank you for the attention.

October 10, 2018, Geneva