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Russian Foreign Ministry’s Statement on Putin’s Instruction to Boost Ties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 16 Apr.'08 / 16:58

Unofficial translation

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given instructions to the government of the Russian Federation regarding regulation of Russia’s relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The instructions are directed towards implementation of the declared course of the Russian authorities aimed at rendering, in compliance with the norms of international law, purposeful support to the population of the two republics, as well as Russian citizens living there, taking into account Russia’s recent withdrawal from the 1996 CIS treaty, restricting the relations with Abkhazia at a state level, as well as the recommendations given by the State Duma.    

The implementation of the President’s instructions will allow creating of mechanisms for comprehensive protection of rights, freedoms and legal interests of Russian citizens living in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

With this purpose the Russian government was instructed to interact with the actual governmental bodies of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, including establishment of cooperation in trade-economic, social, scientific-technical fields, as well as in the spheres of information, culture and education, including through the involvement of the Russia’s regions.

List of documents issued by Abkhaz and South Ossetian state agencies to individuals that are recognized by the state agencies of the Russian Federation is defined. Legal personality of legal entities, registered under the legislation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which is considered as lex personalis of such legal entities, is recognized as well. Federal bodies of the executive authorities are instructed to carry out cooperation with Abkhazia and South Ossetia in frames of legal assistance in the filed of civil, family and criminal laws. In case of necessity, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s local representations in Krasnodar district and in the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania will perform consular functions to provide assistance to persons permanently living in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

It is also envisaged to develop additional proposals on concrete directions of further interaction with Abkhazia and South Ossetia in favor of the social-economic development of these republics, protection of rights of the population living there, including the Russian citizens
 
The key motive behind our actions in this direction is taking care of the interests of population of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, including the Russian citizens living there. During the protracted conflicts the residents of these unrecognized republics have appeared in a distressful situation. They were actually deprived of the possibility to realize their universal rights to dignified life and sustainable development.

Their conditions are worsened by Tbilisi’s actions, which actually neglects the capabilities of the existing mechanisms for establishing normal economic relations, solving social problems in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Georgian leadership refuses to sign with Sokhumi and Tskhinvali binding documents on non-use of force and non-resumption of hostilities, builds up its offensive armament through various channels and demonstrates aggressive intentions, particularly in the upper part of the Kodori Gorge, thus violating the resolutions of the UN Security Council. Against this background “new peaceful initiatives” pushed by the Georgian leadership cannot be perceived seriously.

Our decision to move towards rendering more purposeful, practical assistance to the populations of unrecognized republics does not differ from the mood of the international community. It is worth of mentioning that the resolution of the UN Security Council adopted on April 15 (on prolongation of the UNOMIG mandate) directly points at urgent necessity of economic development of Abkhazia, improvement of living conditions of the population affected by the conflict. 

Our actions in respect of Abkhazia and South Ossetia do not mean that Russia makes a choice in favor of confrontation with Georgia. We are in favor of removing all sanctions and restrictions, hindering the social-economic development of the region. This is confirmed by resumption of air and sea traffic with Georgia, other moves, which represent a positive alternative to the course of the present Georgian leadership.

Implementation of the above-mentioned measures will promote strengthening of security and stability in the Caucasus region.

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