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De-facto administration blocks administrative border

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, August 8
The de-facto administration of South Ossetia temporally blocked an administrative border. The restriction is supposedly related to the commemoration of the August War in Georgia.

The de-facto security committee of South Ossetia has announced that civilians would not be able to cross the administrative border from August 6 until August 11.

MP Soso Vakhtangishvili claims that the restriction will create food-related problems in Akhalgori and Tskhinvali, as the area is being provided with food from Gori.

“Thus, both Georgians and Ossetians living in the occupied sites will face a problem for a week,” Vakhtangishvili states.

The Georgian government has condemned this fact and informed the European Union Monitoring Mission over the issue. The officials stress that the step is provocative, violating fundamental human rights.

Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani said the case would be discussed at the upcoming Geneva Discussions in September. Zalkaniani admits that this was another attempt to violate people’s right to free movement.

Georgia’s State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili believes that the step aimed at provoking.

"This has already become an awful tradition. The purpose of this action is not to guarantee security. This is a bad tactic aimed to create tension. However, we should not be trapped and the state officials should solve such problems pragmatically,” Petriashvili said.

Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze stated that Russia is still trying to create problems in the occupied regions and ignoring the positive steps being made by the Georgian side.

Minister of Healthcare Davit Segeenko states that the violation might not be related to the events of the August War of 2008, as the de-facto administration, backed by Russia, commit such illegalities quite often.

Georgian state minister for reconciliation and civil equality, Paata Zakareishvili shares the vision that such facts take place quite often. He believes that the problem will be solved in the near future and the route will be opened for people and cargo.

The August war in 2008 displaced 192,000 people and while many were able to return to their homes after the war, a year later around 30,000 ethnic Georgians remained displaced. As of May 2014, More than 20,000 people remain displaced after being denied the opportunity to return to their homeland by separatist authorities.