The Russian President’s aide Vladislav Surkov in charge of overseeing Moscow’s relations with Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) believes the planned treaty between Moscow and Tskhinvali to be signed early 2015.
Surkov who is on his visit in Tskhinvali to discuss the planned treaty on "alliance and integration” with so called South Ossetia’s high officials including breakaway region’s leader Leonid Tibilov pledged that they would continue to deepen integration process.
"Obviously now it is not the best of times for Russia as sanctions and oil price fluctuations contribute to it. But the difficult economic situation in Russia will not be an obstacle for fulfilling our obligations and we assure you that we are ready for further cooperation and increase of financing will continue,” Surkov was quoted by Tskhinvali-based news agency, RES, as saying at a meeting with Tibilov on Monday.
Soon after Moscow signed treaty on "alliance and strategic partnership” with Georgia’s another breakaway region of Abkhazia in late November, Tskhinvali’s (South Ossetia) leader also expressed interest in signing a similar agreement with Russia.
The draft agreement with South Ossetia outlined much deeper integration of the region with Russia than the one signed between Moscow and Sokhumi. In particularly, earlier this month Tibilov expressed vision about breakaway region’s accession into Russia that could be considered in the proposed integration treaty between Moscow and Tskhinvali.
Meanwhile, Commenting on the draft of the treaty, speaker of de-facto Parliament and leader of United Ossetia political party Anatoly Bibilov said in an interview with RFE/RL’s Russian-language service Ekho Kavkaza today: "Treaty of Alliance, integration and entry into the Russian Federation will the title of the treaty.”
"We have prepared our proposal that outlines wider format integration. […] Our political party has always stood for the reunion with Russia. We believe that we need a treaty that will envisage broader integration with Russia. Our political program offers the following format of integration – "Two states - one Ossetia,” Bibilov said.
The draft of the treaty outlined defense, security, law enforcement and customs agencies of the breakaway region should become part of relevant ministries and agencies of the Russian Federation.
However, the border crossing point at Roki tunnel, which links the breakaway region with Russia, will be removed.
Russia's investment program in Tskhinvali
Meanwhile, the Russian President’s aide Surko also pledged that the investment program which was aimed to promote socio-economic development of South Ossetia would be proceeding as scheduled and reassured that Russia would continue its financial assistance to South Ossetia.
"We will never let down our strategic partners,” Surkov said.
"Facilities targeted in the investment programme for 2015-2017 and financing of the current socio-economic activity will be fulfilled.”
The investment programme for the socio-economic development of South Ossetia for 2014 was developed and endorsed by the Russia-South Ossetian intergovernmental commission in late 2013. A sum of more than 2.8 billion roubles ($50 million USD) was allocated from the Russian budget to finance this program.