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Interior Ministry: farmers subject to “pressure and intimidation”

By Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, April 22
Russian troops and de facto South Ossetian law enforcers are not allowing the people of Shida Kartli carry out agricultural activities near the administrative border with South Ossetia, the Georgian Interior Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. “This fact worsens the social condition of the local population,” the Interior Ministry said, listing 18 villages on the administrative border which it said were being affected by this action.

The Ministry said that the Georgian side has repeatedly informed Russia and de facto South Ossetia about this problem through the EU Monitoring Mission. “Despite our repeated requests the Russian occupiers and the representatives of the South Ossetian puppet regimes have refused to discuss this and are not allowing the peaceful population of the abovementioned villages to work at their pieces of land,” the statement reads. The Georgian Interior Ministry called on the “chiefs of the Russian occupation forces” and the “puppet regime of South Ossetia” not to prevent local people undertaking agricultural work and to prevent the “pressure and intimidation” of farmers.

The de facto South Ossetian authorities and the commanders of the Russian troops deployed at the administrative border had not made any comment in response to the Ministry's claims by the time The Messenger went to press.