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Georgia appeals to the international community regarding latest Russian encroachment

By Ana Robakidze
Thursday, May 30
Russian Federation continues to alter the de-facto border between Georgia and its breakaway region of South Ossetia.

On May 27, representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the South Ossetian de facto authorities and the Russian Federation Border Guard services met at the spot to discuss the issue. The European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) also attended the meeting, as it was requested by all participating parties.

Ambassador Andrzej Tyszkiewicz, the Head of EUMM said installation of fences in the region is simply unacceptable. “The installation of fences impedes people’s livelihood and divides families and communities. This is unacceptable.” Tyszkiewicz said.

"EUMM has observed an increase in the construction of fences and obstacles, which has a negative impact on the local population,”. The ambassador fears that if the fences are not removed this “could in turn lead to the further destabilization of these sensitive areas.”

The parties agreed that the problem will be discussed at the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting, on May 31.

The recent developments in Disti became one of the major topics discussed by Jean-Claude Mignon, Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) President, who is on his official visit in Tbilisi. Mignon held meetings with the Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, Chairperson of parliament Davit Usupashvili and members of the Georgina government.

Mignon is seriously concerned over the ongoing processes on the administrative border.

“Of course this is a matter of concern for the government of Georgia and the Council of Europe. I demanded more information on this for a further response. I spoke with the Minister for Reintegration, Minister of Education, Chairperson of Parliament and I want to get precise information,” Mignon said.

The PACE President is going to continue the close monitoring of the situation in the conflict.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikdize discussed the Ditsi incident with Mignon at their meeting on May 29. “He said that he is concerned about the situation in the occupied territories, especially regarding human rights protection,” Maia Panjikidze said.

President of PACE confirmed with the Minister the interest of the Council of Europe in solving the conflicts in Georgia.

The Georgian authorities realize the importance of international society in the conflict resolution process and call on international organizations to react on the Ditsi incident accordingly.

Minister of Reintegration, Paata Zakareishvili, says Georgia will use the international tribune to respond to Russia’s illegal actions. Chairperson of Parliament Davit Usupashvili, expects serious steps from the international community.

Authorities have already provided Philip Dimitrov, the Head of the EU Delegation, with detailed information in the Shida Kartli region. “The issue is very serious,” Dimitrov said after the meeting with Georgia’s Foreign Minister. “We are here to talk about the possible reaction," he added.

The information that Russian border guards have started to expand the territories they have occupied in Georgia and started to construct barbed-wire along the villages of Gori region recently became known to public. Russians changed their outposts and relocated along the villages Ditsi and Dvani.