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Barbed wires and foreign visitors

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, November 5
The Permanent Representatives of the United States, Canada, Lithuania, Romania and Sweden to the OSCE visited the IDP settlement in Tserovani on 2 November in order to see the living conditions of the local residents.

As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, the Permanent Representatives of the organization (which is has not had a presence in Georgia since 2008) also visited the village of Khurvaleti adjacent to the occupation line to assess the humanitarian situation caused by the installation of barbed wire fences by the Russian occupation forces.

They met people living along the occupation line and discussed the existing problems.

It should be noted that it was the first visit of the OSCE representatives to Georgia since 2008.

In many cases when foreign diplomats arrive in Georgia, they visit the areas which are experiencing the effects of Russian aggression.

They stand in front of the sharp barbed wires and feel the pain of the locals for several hours, though they do not have to live in fear on a daily basis like the locals.

The Georgian non-governmental organization IDFI stated that presumably, the Russians used an out-of-date Soviet-era map while illegally encroaching on Georgian soil.

“After the Russian military aggression against Georgia in 2008, Georgian governing agencies and the majority of the Georgian population were expelled from the territories of the former South Ossetian autonomous district (including the Akhalgori and Mamisoni pass) since these areas are now completely controlled by the occupation regime. The Georgian side lost control of over 135 inhabited areas of the Tskhinvali region, of which most were ethnically divided, being half-Georgian and half-Ossetian. Moreover, the villages that were entirely Georgian were completely destroyed. The Georgian populations of the mixed villages were forced to flee,” the IDFI said.

Russia, as usual, says that it was protecting other nations when invading Georgia; this is the same pretext given for its more recent actions in Ukraine.

In this difficult situation, the Georgian Government can only do one thing: repeatedly state and remind its citizens and the international community that the area are sovereign parts of Georgia.

Yet an even more important goal is for the Government to build a stable state economy. Unfortunately, this has not been attained yet.

Higher standards of living would be attractive for those living in the occupied regions as their living conditions are becoming increasingly worse.

It is a matter of speculative interest as to whether Russia would reject the wishes of the locals if they decided to rejoin Georgia, especially as Russia hides behind ostensible ‘goodwill’ in its campaigns of conquest.

Thus, those who visit the areas, from which people are frequently kidnapped, tortured and ransomed as a result of Russian aggression, should think about the problem more than for an hour, as no one is completely safe from such hostility.