Sergey Lavrov Receives Tskhinvali ‘Foreign Minister’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met on November 12 with Dmitry Medoev, the Moscow-backed “foreign minister” of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, who is on a three-day trip to Moscow on November 11-13.

In his press remarks before the meeting, the Russian Foreign Minister said “close cooperation between the two foreign ministries” reflects “the overall allied spirit” of their relations.

Lavrov also stressed the importance of “further coordination of actions” in light of the upcoming round of the Geneva International Discussions. “I am confident that we will continue to pursue a coordinated policy to ensure the reliable security of our allies in this important region,” he noted.

The Russian FM then touched upon Moscow’s agreements with Tskhinvali, saying they “have direct and important meaning” for its citizens – Russians living in South Ossetia, including “in terms of simplifying their travel and giving them access to health insurance services.”

Moscow recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on August 26, 2008, two weeks after the end of the Russo-Georgian war. Syria, Venezuela, Nauru and Nicaragua are the only other nations that recognize the two regions’ independence from Georgia. According to Tskhinvali authorities, nearly all residents remaining in the region hold Russian citizenship.

On his part, Dmitry Medoev thanked Lavrov for his “personal contribution” in establishing and developing of “cordial relations between South Ossetia and Russia,” as well as for Moscow’s recognition of the region and for its “comprehensive political and practical support.”

“South Ossetia values its cooperation with Russia; we consider Russia [our] main strategic partner. Russia is a country that is close to us spiritually and historically,” he also said, adding that further strengthening of ties “is on the agenda of [Tskhinvali’s] foreign policy.

In Moscow, Medoev also visited the new building of “the South Ossetian embassy to Russia,” which was granted to the Tskhinvali authorities following the November 2017 meeting between their leader Anatoly Bibilov and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Medoev also awarded Lavrov and two other Russian officials – Deputy FM Grigory Karasin and Director of the Fourth CIS Department Alexey Pavlovsky – for their “contribution to international cooperation.”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)