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De facto Tskhinvali Raises the Issue of ‘Border Demarcation’ with Georgia at Ergneti Meeting

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, December 21
Representatives of Georgian eastern, Russian-occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region have raised the issue of “demarcation border with Georgia, which will make the lives of locals easier.”

“We tried to say that this is a practical issue aiming to make people’s lives easier. They will know where the territory of South Ossetia is and where Georgia is located and there will no longer be detentions and judicial proceedings over this issue,” Egor Kochiev from the de facto government said on Tuesday after the local meeting on conflict issues with the central Georgian government representatives.

He said that the representatives of the central Georgian government refused to talk about the issue, as the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism meeting concern only humanitarian not political issues.

Tskhinvali also continued to raise the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list, which sanctions people for violation of human rights in the regions, a representative of the State Security Service of Georgia stated.

Irakli Antadze says that the discussions regarding the list which was approved by the Georgian parliament this year are not in the format of the IPRM meetings, as the meetings are for the settling of every-day problems for the local population.

“The Orkhozroa-Tatunashvili list is a political issue when the IPRM meetings are about humanitarian issues. However, the representatives of the occupied regions continue to raise the topic [as they are negative to the list], ”Antadze stated after the Ergneti meeting.

Antadze stated that the Tskhinvali intention to increase fines “for illegally crossing the border with Georgia” is unacceptable and unlawful, as Tskhinvali is a historic region of Georgia.

Tskhinvali intends to increase the fine from 30 USD to 300 USD.

The Georgian State Security Service says that after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war, between 2008 and 2017, the Russia-controlled border guards have illegally detained 1,077 Georgian citizens for illegally crossing the border.

The money the occupied Tskhinvali budget received due to the detentions amounted to more than 116,000 GEL [more than 42,000 USD] between 2008 and 2017.

The next IPRM meeting was scheduled for 8 February 2019.

The Russo-Georgian 2008 War was a war between Georgia, Russia and the Russian-backed self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The war displaced 192,000 people and while many returned to their homes after the war, 20,272 people, mostly ethnic Georgians, remained displaced.

35 Georgians and 6 Ossetians remain missing since the war.

Only Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria have recognized the region as an independent republic.