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Fruitful meeting in Smolenskaya square2009-01-21 14:06
The Foreign Ministers of Russia and South Ossetia - Sergey Lavrov and Murat Jioev - met in Moscow on January 20 to discuss the prospects of future cooperation between two countries making noticeable headway as they both acknowledged.
One of the main topics was the end of gas blockade over South Ossetia. According to RIA Novosti Jioev emphasized that it could be done only by joint efforts of the OSCE and Russia adding:
"The relations between Ossetia and Georgia remain tense but now there are rays of hope that the gas issue will be settled soon".
Evidently "the rays" appeared following the OSCE visit to Tskhinval on January 13. Its experts confirmed the serviceability of the South Ossetian part of the gas line and expressed their hope for a positive outcome of the long-running story with the natural raw materials being blocked for the republic.
Another equally urgent issue discussed by the ministers was the suspension of the OSCE in the region. It will be remembered that the Russian party insists on independent representations of the organization in Georgia and South Ossetia (in connection with Russia's recognition of independence of the latter - AG) though official Tbilisi and the organization itself have not reached a consensus yet.
As ITAR-TASS reports on completion of the negotiations Jioev stated that his country was interested in working with the OSCE and considered the possibility of its mission's operation in the territory of South Ossetia very important which has not occurred before starting with the August events.
Sergey Lavrov thought it appropriate to add and specify: "We observed wrongfulness and artificiality of the attempts to present the case as if Russia was hindering the OSCE continuation in Georgia". And more: the work of the OSCE in Georgia must go on in light of the new realia: "We must call things (that is countries) by their proper names, and all will be alright". - Russia's Foreign Minister concluded.
Lavrov's last phrase is the core of the problem. After all Europe has really been quite reluctant to accept the real facts so far. And the facts are simple to formulate: two Transcaucasian republics are sovereign states now. As it was justly pointed out by Russia's Ambassador to the OSCE Anvar Azimov "not us but our Western partners keep nurturing illusions of the past and resist objective reality - the existence of two new independent states - the republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia".