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Georgia asks international community for help to end Russia’s illegal activities

By Ana Robakidze
Thursday, September 19
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the international community to duly assess the ongoing situation in Georgia's occupied territories and to take the relevant measures to put an end to Russia's illegal activities. The MFA released a special statement on September 17, after it became known that Russian forces had resumed installing metal fences along the occupation line in the village of Ditsi.

“The Georgian government condemns such illegal actions, which have a negative impact on the humanitarian condition of the local population and which significantly restrict their internationally-recognized rights, including freedom of movement…Such a critical situation in Georgia's occupied regions and adjacent areas once again points to the importance of creating an international security and human rights monitoring mechanisms. The Georgian Foreign Ministry calls on the international community to duly assess the ongoing situation in Georgia's occupied territories and to take relevant measures to put an end to Russia's illegal activities,” the Ministry said.

The European Union and NATO have also expressed concern over the situation in the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai commented on the resumption of installing fences in Ditsi. “I am concerned about reports that Russian forces in Georgia have resumed installing fences at the administrative boundary line with South Ossetia. Again, this violates the agreement and makes political progress more difficult. As the EUMM says, all parties should show restraint,” the statement reads.

The resumption of building metal fences and relocating the occupation line is an alarming sign for the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland.

“Relocation of the so-called border s alarming, but we must try to find a way to have dialogue with the locals,” he said. According the ambassador, the occupied territories are an important issue and it must be highlighted at the Geneva talks.

Current situation in the conflict region was the major topic discussed by the OSCE PA delegation, which continues its official visit to Georgia. On September 18th a meeting was held between the Georgian MPs and the OSCE delegation, lead by the PA President Ranko Krivokapic.

“Our meeting was opened with discussions about Ditsi and the events ongoing there,” Georgian MP, Gigi Tsereteli said after the meeting, adding that all parties agreed that Russia is leading an unacceptable policy against Georgia.

Representative of the parliamentary majority, Viktor Dolidze, stated after the meeting that the OSCE is going to be even more involved in the negotiation process and especially during the Geneva talks. He also said that the government will take all the necessary steps to expand international involvement in the conflict resolution process.

The Georgian PM’s special representative for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, will talk about the border relocation and the illegal fences in Prague. He already left for the Czech Republic, where he will meet Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Grigory Karasin. The meeting is scheduled for September 19.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on the upcoming meeting in Prague and stated that the dialogue will be held only on cooperation in trade, transport, culture and healthcare areas. The Russian MFA said that in order to deal with the listed issues, established diplomatic ties between the two countries are not required. Therefore parties can discuss the topics in Prague during their informal dialogue.