President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen, representatives of the media,
First and foremost of course I would like to say what a great pleasure it is to welcome President of the Republic of Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh and President of the Republic of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity to Moscow.
We have just signed agreements on cooperation in protecting the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and on coordination of state security services. It goes without saying that this is an important political act.
These documents are the result of agreements signed some time ago in this very room, treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance. I am confident that these documents will make a clear contribution to strengthening security in the Caucasus.
One of our key tasks is to be tough and resolute in our opposition to any acts of aggression, terrorism or cross-border crime. The agreements now signed were designed to regulate precisely these issues at both the international level and at the level of the relevant agencies.
I think that neither those present in this room nor those elsewhere can be in any doubt that such threats actually exist. In these circumstances, we would consider any action that could be perceived by Tbilisi as encouraging the remilitarisation of the country or any attempt – a senseless attempt – to strengthen its military capabilities as measures that are in contradiction with the agreements signed in August last year containing the six principles for conflict resolution.
In this context I would also like to say that the NATO exercises scheduled to take place in Georgia between May 6 and June 1 of this year are in effect a blatant provocation, even though our western partners have tried to convince us it is not so. It is impermissible to conduct military exercises in an area of recent combat actions. This is an obvious truth.
I would like to specifically note that any likely negative consequences of these decisions are entirely the responsibility of the individuals who took them and propose to engage in these activities.
While defending the borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, we are of course aspiring to achieve the most important goal, the same we have always had: to ensure long-awaited peace in the region. For a long time now people there have grown tired of living in constant fear and in anticipation of attacks, although we must of course say that after the decisions that Russia took the situation has radically changed. Nevertheless, provocation is still possible and should be prevented. People must be granted peaceful life.
We consider the cooperation in protecting state borders of these two republics that are close to us and in developing national border services of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be a key factor in ensuring the security of state borders and overall security in the region.
The powers for the protection of the borders of these republics, which these agreements have delegated to Russia, will be implemented in strict accordance with the national legislation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This is a crucial point and validation of the national sovereignty of the two republics.
Of course the efficiency and timeliness of our actions in this field directly affects the success, development and, ultimately, the prosperity of these two friendly countries.
In the near future, our task is to complete the groundwork laid to define legal relations between the Russian Federation, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. At the moment, we are working on more than 30 sectorial agreements.
I am convinced that quickly preparing, signing and ratifying them where necessary will be the starting point for our strategic partnership in the years, decades and centuries to come, and will of course help resolve a variety of problems that we must deal with so that the people in our countries can live better.
Thank you for your attention. I am glad that this ceremony took place.