January 9, 2016 INTERFAX
Moscow not ready to accept South Ossetia, despite calls for unification
The interior ministries of South Ossetia and Russia will sign before the end of January a supplement agreement to their Alliance and Integration Agreement, setting up a joint information coordination center, officials in Tskhinvali said.
"Once necessary procedures are completed by the governmental agencies of our republic, the South Ossetian side will be ready to sign this inter-ministerial agreement," South Ossetian Interior Minister Akhsar Lavoyev told reporters on Jan. 9.
The same necessary procedures are being carried out on the Russian side, the minister said. "Under our main agreement, on alliance and integration, the parties are obligated to sign the supplement in January 2016," he said.
The new document focuses primarily on the creation of a new bilateral agency between the ministries, a joint information coordination center.
"The objectives of the center are mainly the fight against organized-crime communities whose actions affect the interests of both sides (terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, illegal border crossing, and so on). They also include organizing important data sharing and maintaining necessary operational and criminalist records; forming and maintaining a special data bank on organized-crime communities whose illegal activities affect the interests of both sides," Lavoyev said.
Furthermore, the new document stipulates bilateral search and extradition of fugitive criminal suspects or convicts and "assistance in necessary coordinated efforts to fight dangerous crimes that pose a security threat to both sides," he said.
Under the alliance and integration agreement signed by Russia and South Ossetia in March 2015, the two sides are to sign supplement agreements in certain areas. The agreement comes into effect this February.