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Press statement following meeting with President of South Ossetia Leonid Tibilov

October 24, 2012, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

Today, Mr Tibilov and I held substantive, constructive and sincere talks. The meeting fully confirmed our common desire to develop our partnership.

During our conversation, we discussed nearly every aspect of Russian-South Ossetian relations. I should stress right away that Russia intends to continue providing the necessary support to South Ossetia in strengthening its statehood and resolving highly important economic and social challenges.

As before, we will continue to promote fostering conditions for raising living standards through the creation of new jobs and the rebuilding of the republic’s infrastructure. For us, this is a matter of principle; after all, nearly 80 percent of the people living in that country have dual citizenship, both South Ossetian and Russian with Russia.

Overall, the full set of social issues – including education, healthcare, and the provision of pensions – requires our joint efforts, and we spoke about this in quite a bit of detail, identifying specific plans for joint work.

It is important that cooperation between Russia and South Ossetia is becoming increasingly systemic. We are continuing to improve our international treaty framework. The agreement signed by the Transport Ministry on interstate road transportations is a basis for expanding freight and passenger transit between our countries and greatly simplifies cargo customs registration procedures and entry into Russia.

We and our colleagues gave particular attention to issues of ensuring regional security and stability.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you, Mr President, and all our colleagues for the deep, serious work that was done today and the atmosphere of mutual understanding, as well as the determination to reach visible results in our cooperation.

Thank you very much.

President of South Ossetia Leonid Tibilov: Thank you.

Mr Putin, colleagues,

We have just concluded our meeting at the highest level. This meeting has enormous political significance to the entire people of South Ossetia. This was my second meeting at this level.

Our last meeting, held in May of this year, contributed to advancing the entire spectrum of relations between South Ossetia and Russia. Today we see that the agreements reached back in May are being implemented.

Today’s meeting was very important. We discussed a range of issues of vital significance for the Republic of South Ossetia. We discussed economic matters and very thoroughly focused on the investment programme, which includes prospects for South Ossetia’s development.

We agreed that this investment programme will be implemented in 2013–2015. I believe that once the programme is accomplished, the people of South Ossetia will feel the positive changes.

I am grateful to Mr Putin, Russia’s leaders and all the people of Russia for the assistance that they have always provided and continue to provide to South Ossetia and its people.

For our part, we know that the extensive aid coming from Russia will be rightly directed toward its intended recipients and that the life of every individual and every family will soon improve.

We have always followed the legacy of our ancestors who declared friendship with Russia for all times. This fundamental principle will always be followed. The positive attitude within the republic’s leadership and among the people will be preserved in order to address various issues of our bilateral relations.

Mr Putin, I want to once again sincerely thank you, and on behalf of our delegation and our people I want to take this opportunity to invite you to visit our republic at a time that is convenient for you. I believe that this would be an event that would be impossible to compare with anything else. So we are asking you to come and see how our people are living, even though you certainly have sufficient information on the subject, and to see the changes brought about by the new leadership of the Republic.

Thank you very much, everyone. We hope for success in the development of our relations.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

October 24, 2012, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region