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International community condemns Russian actions

By Ana Robakidze
Monday, June 3
Russian troops continue the relocation of the occupation line along the conflict region in South Ossetia and have shifted the line deeper into sovereign Georgian-controlled territory. President Mikhiel Saakashvili says this is just another Russian provocation and putting the “firmness” of the Georgian government to a test. The president supports the position of the government and does not blame it for the escalated situation in the conflict region.

“I think the position of the Georgian government as a whole is correct that we should be careful and should not yield to any kind of provocation,” Saakashvili said in his television address on May 31.

President calls on the government to be as mobilized as possible and work together with the president’s administration. “I extend my hand to the Georgian government and offer them to work together on all of the strategic security issues,” Saakashvili said.

The government is trying to stay calm and use international levers to address the situation. Speaking on a TV program, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said there is no reason to get “hysterical”. The PM said his government is going to put through all diplomatic efforts.

The PM suspects that it is more a misunderstanding rather than the policy of Moscow. Hence, diplomacy should settle the situation.

Georgia has already attracted international attention, after the European Union, U.S Department of State and NATO officials made statements regarding the illegal actions of the Russian troops.

At a briefing on May 30, US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked to comment on the situation in Georgia. “The European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia has verified that fences and barbed wire are being installed along the administrative boundary line in the South Ossetia region of Georgia,” Psaki said and added that the Department of State shares Georgia’s concern over the installation of fences and confirms that the action is contrary to international law and the 2008 ceasefire agreement.

James Apaturai, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, commented on the incident in the occupied region of Georgia in an interview with the Georgian Public Broadcaster saying that Moscow is violating international regulations. According to Apaturai, it is obvious that Georgia has been trying to improve relations with Russia and NATO.

The situation in the village of Ditsi, where Russian border guards continue the installation of metal fences, remains tense. The State Security Office of the de-facto S, Ossetian government released a statement and accused the Georgian government of spreading misinformation. The government of the break-away region claims that border guards are working on the territory of S. Ossetia and they have never crossed the border of Georgia.

Patriarch Ilia ll sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressed his concern over the shifting of the occupation line deeper into Georgian controlled area.

“We express our concern over the relocation of the interim border of Georgia along the village of Ditsi,” the Patriarch says in his statement and expresses his hope that Russian Federation will make the right evaluation of the situation and take relevant measures to rectify it.