Georgia’s Breakaway S.Ossetia Signs Agreements with Republika Srpska

The de facto delegation of Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia region, led by the self-proclaimed President Anatoly Bibilov, is paying a visit to Republika Srpska, one of two constitutional and legal entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The so called state-led news agency of S. Ossetia, PEC, reports that Bibilov and his delegation took part in the festivities of the Republic Day in Banja Luka on January 9, after which he held a face-to-face meeting with Republika Srpska's leader, President Milorad Dodik.

The de facto South Ossetian Foreign Ministry reports the leaders discussed issues of mutual relations and prospects of deepening cooperation.

"We are very pleased to visit Republika Srpska. On behalf of South Ossetia, I wish your Republic peace and prosperity," Bibilov said.

Milorad Dodik, for his part, has noted that, "it is a great honor for Republika Srpska to receive the President of South Ossetia." He then expressed readiness for the further development of friendly relations between the two states.

The sides also discussed international issues, adding that the Russian Federation is a reliable “strategic partner” to both.

The official visit of Anatoly Bibilov to Republika Srpska will last until January 13.

The so called President's trip is accompanied by the head of his office, Igor Kozaev, de facto Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Medoev, and Adviser to the so called Foreign Minister, Gela Valiev.

The later was appointed by Bibilov as South Ossetia’s special representative to Republika Srpska.

"We would like Gela Valiev to represent our Republic here. He knows Republika Srpska; he has many friends here, and I think he can be a good intermediary in our relations,” Bibilov told Dodik, going on to invite him to breakaway S.Ossetia in August, when the so called state is to celebrate 10 years since Russia recognized it as an independent country.

The two sides also signed a memorandum on cooperation between the “states”, as well as a Protocol on cooperation between the party "United Ossetia" and the Union of Independent Social Democrats of Republika Srpska.

Before arriving in Banja Luka, Bibilov also visited the Donetsk separatist republic in Ukraine, where he gave gifts and learned about recent developments.

Georgian opposition parties are calling on the Georgian government to carry out a more effective foreign policy against the uncontrolled actions of the de facto South Ossetian authorities, claiming that Bibilov and his representatives are traveling to European countries in order to seek international recognition.

Irakli Koplatadze, Georgia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, says that official Sarajevo expressed concern over the visit of Bibilov and his so called delegation to Republika Srpska, adding they have reiterated their support to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

Thea Morrison

11 January 2018 19:00