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).

Interview of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of South Ossetia David Sanakoev to newspaper South Ossetia

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On the fifth anniversary since recognition of the independence of South Ossetia by Russian Federation

- 26 August is the fifth anniversary since recognition by Russia sovereignty of South Ossetia. In that sense 2013 is a special year for South Ossetia. What meaning has this strong-willed decision of Russia for people of South Ossetia?

- Indeed, 26 August will be the fifth anniversary since recognition the independence of South Ossetia by Russian Federation. On this day in 2008 President of Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev made a life-changing decision for people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia – he signed a Decree on recognition of independence of Republic of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Russian Federation.

Recognition of the independence or Republic of South Ossetia by Russian Federation was a determined result of the longstanding struggle of people of South Ossetia for their independence and was the most important event in the recent history of South Ossetia that opened a new page in Russian-South Ossetian relations. Recognition of South Ossetia by Russia secured for people of South Ossetia the long awaited peace and stability. Now security of South Ossetia is insured by Russia. The country is confidently moving forward to socio-economic progress, becoming a modern democratic country.Strengthening of sovereignty, development of democratic institutions, revival of the socio-economic infrastructure are the driving force for normal peaceful life. Russia is rendering to South Ossetia full scale assistance to overcome the results of blockade and aggression of Georgia.

- For the last five years were signed many interstate agreements between South Ossetia and Russia. How do you evaluate the dynamics of their realization and what agreements are in the pipeline?

- President Leonid Tibilov in his address to the nation and the Parliament from 30 April 2013 reiterated that the main priority for South Ossetia is in further development of friendly relations with Russian Federation. As of today people of Russia and South Ossetia have very warm and friendly relations that have very deep and long history. In many fields of Russian-South Ossetian cooperation there are conditions for implementing particular projects. Our cooperation is based not only on mutual respect but has a legal bases. For the last 5 years was done a lot of work for establishment of full-fledged interstate relations between Republic of South Ossetia and Russian Federation. Besides the Agreement on friendship, cooperation and bilateral aid from 17 September 2007 we have signed about seventy international Agreements at different levels to date. They cover a wide range of issues of cooperation at interstate, intergovernmental and interdepartmental level.

There are about 20 agreements in the pipeline, including Agreement on the issues of double citizenship that is very important for citizens of South Ossetia, Agreement between Russian Federation and South Ossetia on Russian-South Ossetia state border. It is obvious that the bilateral relations between Russia and South Ossetia have to be based on certain legislation and our Ministry is working on that on a daily bases.

- You have mentioned among other agreements Agreement on cooperation between foreign policy institutions of Russia and South Ossetia. How fruitful is the cooperation between the two Ministries?

- On 20 January 2009 was signed a Memorandum of understanding between the MFAs of RSO and RF. On the bases of this Memorandum we have an ability to send our staff members and students to study at diplomatic institutions of Russian Federation.
Every year we send 5 students to Moscow State Institute of Foreign Affairs, send five MFA staff members to study at Diplomatic Academy of the MFA of RF, where they already have colleagues that are studying. Above that our staff members have a possibility to go for different trainings at RF MFA Diplomatic Academy. We have a chance to educate staff at other higher education institutions of the RF, in particular at the faculty of foreign Affairs of North Ossetia State University. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RSO is in close contact with the Embassy of Russian Federation in Republic of South Ossetia.

- One of the priorities of the MFA of South Ossetia is promotion of recognition of our Republic which is an inevitable process. Should we expect in the nearest future recognition of South Ossetia by other states?

- Viable states that emerged as a result of realization of the right of nations for self-determination and effective governments that came to power as a result of free expression of will by people will always exist. We all have to make every effort to strengthen the economy of our state to become an attractive and strong country. As a consequence number of countries, that may potentially recognize South Ossetia in the context of establishment of relations, will increase significantly. Needless to say that out Ministry is closely working on the process of recognition of our country by other states. Despite the resistance of Georgian diplomacy the recognition process will continue.

- What would you like to wish people of South Ossetia on the fifth anniversary since recognition of the independence of South Ossetia by Russia?

- I will use this opportunity and thank authorities of Russian Federation for recognition of our state and for the invaluable help rendered to our country. It was Russia that helped South Ossetia in times of military aggression, when it was a life-or-death situation for our nation.
I would like to congratulate people of South Ossetia with this remarkable date in the history of our nation and wish peace and prosperity to people of South Ossetia and Russia. Our nation will do everything possible so that Russia would never regret about recognition of South Ossetia.

South Ossetia will always remember who to be grateful for its freedom and independence.

Tskhinval, 23 August 2013