President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Gagloyev,
I am very happy to see you and to get to know you.
I will not describe relations between South Ossetia and Russia – I think it needs no comment, they is of a special nature. That said, I would like to note that we are developing relations in all areas, including the economy.
Our trade grew by 12 percent last year, which is overall a good figure. We continue to develop most all of our programmes – the investment programme, the programme for socio-economic development, the programme of financial aid and the credit programme for aid and support for South Ossetia.
As for ensuring security, the republic has a Russian military base, and our structures there maintain very close cooperation in this respect.
I am sure there are also some issues that we need to discuss. I am at your disposal and am very happy to see you.
President of South Ossetia Alan Gagloyev: Thank you for this opportunity to convey to you personally the words of sincere gratitude on behalf of the people of the Republic of South Ossetia.
We remember that the Russian Federation was always close to us when the republic was going through hard times, and that it has been giving us valuable support, up to this day. We remember August 2008 when the people of South Ossetia faced the threat of almost complete annihilation, but then the aggressor was stopped due to absolutely correct and timely decisions.
We are fulfilling our duty and showing our gratitude today, not only in words but also in our actions. Ossetian fighters are upholding our common history, common values, and our common faith along with their Russian brothers in the special military operation. I must say that all of them go there with confidence in victory because they understand that they are fighting for the truth and for historical justice. I must note that many of them have state awards from the Russian Federation.
We see the complicated geopolitical processes taking place today. Therefore, we should coordinate our actions for the sake of common security as much as possible.
Issues of economic interaction are gaining strategic importance these days. You noted this – our trade grew by 12 percent last year.
South Ossetia has a special role to play in this respect: we were the first to take on aggression because we were faithful to our historical duty – to be with Russia. We must show the world that this is the only right choice. Therefore, we need to do everything we can to make the republic’s economy self-sufficient and become a full-fledged economic partner for the Russian Federation.
At this point, I would like to say a few special words of gratitude to you, Mr President, for your decision to support the project for gas distribution to the entire territory of the Republic of South Ossetia. This will indeed be a breakthrough for economic progress. We will be able to stop the outflow of rural population, preserve our villages and give an entirely new impetus to the development of agriculture. This would be very helpful for attracting investors to the republic. The people of South Ossetia will never forget this.
This year, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the recognition of national independence of the Republic of South Ossetia by the Russian Federation. Using this opportunity, I would like to invite you to South Ossetia as a most honored guest. You will see for yourself the warm, family-like, grateful attitude of the people of South Ossetia towards you, Mr President.
Thank you very much for this opportunity to discuss the questions we are facing today and for the warm reception.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
Alan Gagloyev: Thank you.