On March 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin with the Moscow-backed leader of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Anatoly Bibilov, and discussed deepening of ties.
In a press statement before the meeting, the Russian President said Moscow’s relations with Tskhinvali “are of special character.” “We are strategic partners in the full sense of the word,” he noted.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure social and economic development of South Ossetia and guarantee its security,” Putin told Bibilov, adding that “there is no doubt” that this will continue “in the same spirit.”
He also stressed Russia remains Tskhinvali’s “leading trade and economic partner,” and that Moscow continues to carry out a number of programs for supporting the local economy.
In his remarks, Putin also touched upon the upcoming parliamentary polls in Tskhinvali in June, saying he hopes the elections be held “in line with the law and democratic standards.”
On his part, Bibilov thanked the Russian President for the meeting, which – he said – has become “traditional.” “High-level meetings give us confidence that the development of South Ossetia and our strategic partnership remain at a high level,” Bibilov said.
He also emphasized that agreements between Moscow and Tskhinvali are being implemented “very effectively,” and that Russia’s financial support programs have a significant economic and social impact on South Ossetia.