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Georgia sees threat in Tskhinvali’s ‘engineering work’ of fire protection zone

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, August 4
Georgia’s Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili stresses that the works for the fire protection zone announced by occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) leadership this month is part of Russia’s creeping occupation on the Georgian soil.

The Minister stated that Georgia strongly condemns occupants’ activities in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, now illegally controlled by Russia.

Tsikhelashvili told the local media that the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM), the only foreign mission operating at Georgia’s occupied regions, participants and co-chairs of Geneva International Talks over Georgia’s conflict issues, have been informed over the “engineering works.”

The Minister highlighted that the local population still faces serious problems to freely move, which was the violation of fundamental human rights.

“It would be better, if steps were taken to help the local population rather than creating more obstacles for them,” the Minister stated.

The Security Service of occupied Tskhinvali announced engineering works to restore the fire protection zone "at the border with Georgia” on August 2.

The agency claims the works are because of threats of fire in the breakaway area and will continue between August 3 and 18 at the village of Artsevi.

The Tskhinvali’s statement came shortly after Russian media reported Vladimir Putin’s planned visit to the occupied Abkhazia region.

The visit is considered as “sending threats” to Georgia by Russia over US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Georgia and his words against the Russian aggression.

The Georgian opposition claims that Pence’s statements over US’s support to Georgia to integrate into NATO and Trump’s decision to sign new sanctions against Russia could be “most irritating to Russian officials.”

Russia and Nicaragua recognized Tskhinvali’s and Abkhazia’s independence in 2008 in the wake of the Russia-Georgia war.

In 2009 Venezuela, Vanuatu, Nauru and Tuvalu took the same step. However, after several years Vanuatu and Tuvalu revoked this recognition and now declare Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as integral parts of Georgia.