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Russia, South Ossetia presidents to discuss bilateral relations

May 21, 2013, 9:30 UTC+3

The bilateral political dialogue is intensive - the leaders of the two countries met twice last year

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SOCHI, May 21 (Itar-Tass) - The state of and prospects for the development of bilateral relations, as well as current issues of Russian assistance to socioeconomic development of the Republic of South Ossetia will be discussed here on Tuesday by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his South Ossetian counterpart Leonid Tibilov, the Kremlin press service reported.

“Relations between our countries have the strategic partnership nature. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Russia’s recognition of the independence of South Ossetia (August 26, 2008) and the establishment of diplomatic relations (September 9, 2008). On September 17, 2008 the two countries signed the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance,” the press service said.

The bilateral political dialogue is intensive - the leaders of the two countries met twice last year. In August 2012, RF Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited Tskhinval. The two countries are developing inter-parliamentary ties - they have established the bilateral inter-parliamentary commission on cooperation. Contacts between the two states’ Foreign Ministries are active, the Kremlin stresses.

It said that Russia remains the main external trade partner of South Ossetia. The bilateral trade volume in 2012 reached 57.2 million US dollars (in 2011 - 65.5 million US dollars). In 2013, the growth of the South Ossetian exports (agricultural products) accounted for 24.3 percent, compared to the same period in 2012.

The Russian Federation has provided substantial assistance to South Ossetia in the development s of its statehood, socioeconomic development, it will continue also in the future to reliably guarantee the Republic’s security, the Kremlin press service says. The investment program of socioeconomic development is being implemented. Russian regions and corporations play an active role in this process. Thus, Gazprom has invested more than 10 billion roubles in the construction of the Dzaurikau - Tskhinval gas pipeline, the Moscow government - about 2.5 billion roubles in the construction of the Moskovsky residential neighbourhood in Tskhinval, the St. Petersburg mayor’s office - 70 million roubles in the repair of the central republican hospitals, more than 20 residential houses have been built with funds provided by the Tyumen and Tambov Regions.

Moscow and Tskhinval develop cooperation in the humanitarian sphere. In 2012, the Russian Centre of Science and Culture was opened in Tskhinval, on the basis of which the Russian language is taught, among other things. Subsidised scholarships for the study of South Ossetian in Russian universities are granted on a regular basis.

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