President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, together with the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure and the head of the National Security Council, visited the village Atotsi on February 27.
President visits Atotsi village
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, February 28
Russians have recently began erecting barbed wire fences in the village. Margvelashvili stressed that the main aim of the fences is to hinder contact between brothers - between Georgians and Ossetians. The President emphasized that Russia is trying to provoke Georgia through this action.
Locals of Atotsi have accused the Georgian government of indifference. According to them, the village faces multiple problems, including very serious water and land related problems. They stressed that the Georgian government should do its best to ease the situation of those who are living in the conflict area.
“We take the issue as an attempt of conflict conservation. The wires have no strategic connotation - their main function is to disturb communication between people. The action is a strong violation of international norms,” Margvelashvili stated.
Margvelashili told the locals that the current Georgian government has chosen a peaceful policy.
“We will definitely gain victory through patience and kindness,” Margvelashvili stated, adding that Georgia has very serious allies who are standing behind the country.
The President informed the locals about the social and infrastructural projects the government is planning in villages like Atotsi.
Minister of Infrastructure Davit Narmania stated that the village’s needs would be discussed in the accelerated time with the local government.
Shida Kartli Governor Zurab Rusishvili stressed that both gasification and metering are planned this year.
“It is impossible to do everything in a day. All the important steps should be made gradually and timely,” Rusishvili stated.
The erection of barbed wire fences was one of the topics discussed in Ergneti village on February 27 in the frame of the Incident Prevention and Reaction Mechanism Working Group. The chief of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Analytical Department, Gocha Ratiani, stated that the Georgian side has raised the issue of the illegal activities as well as irrigation problems in the villages located close to the administrative border.
A member of the Georgian delegation, Gela Zoziashvili, emphasized that there are problems regarding both drinking and irrigation water.
“We have set the issues several times and are waiting for some moves from the other side to carry out infrastructural projects,” Zoziahsvili stated.
However, the other side has not changed its position. According to the head of the occupied South Ossetian delegation, Khokh Gagloiti, there are no illegal barbed wires on Georgian territory. According to him, South Ossetia has just been marking the territory that was outlined during the Soviet period.
Gagloiti also stressed that the Georgian side has not yet represented land property documentations.