The messenger logo

International organizations, Georgian government and other officials react to processes near occupation line

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, September 2
After the 95th meeting of Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Ergneti failed on August 29, several international organizations and representatives of both Georgia and occupied regions, issued statements regarding the ongoing illegal processes near the so-called border.

During the meeting, the de-facto government of Tskhinvali imposed an ultimatum on the Georgian central government and demanded the withdrawal of the Georgian police checkpoint near the village of Chorchana and gave the Georgian side time until August 30, 6 AM.

The demand was not fulfilled and the Ossetian side announced that they are planning to build a checkpoint in the occupied village of Tsneli. As the de-facto President, Anatoly Bibilov said, their demand is unchanged. "The technical meeting is over, we have not come to a single conclusion yet. The talks will continue in the coming days," noted Bibilov.

The so-called president also addressed people via his personal Facebook page, as Bibilov claims the situation in the "republic" has started to escalate due to the situation created by the presence of the Georgian police near Tsneli. He blames some of the Facebook users and people “offended by the Government” in these actions.

"I want to make it clear to everyone that there will be no military confrontation, which Georgian side wants to happen,” noted the so-called President.

Bibilov also noted that the rumors that he moved his family from the region are a lie, according to the so-called President, his family is on the ground, except for his oldest child, who left the region for school. Bibilov also stressed that the population is safe and protected by the “border guards.”

According to the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), they are observing the occupation line for 24 hours a day to reduce tensions. Mr. Erik Høeg, the head of the mission also visited the place to observe the situation.

The representatives of EUMM also noted that the hotline of the mission is working actively for the exchange of information between the sides, which will help them to reduce the possibility of involuntary escalation.

The de-facto authorities issued a special statement and criticized the international community for supporting Georgia. As they noted, “any provocation that violates South Ossetia's territorial integrity shall be prevented by all means, including forceful methods.”

The de-facto parliament noted that the opening of the Georgian police checkpoint in the village of Chorchana in Khashuri municipality is a "deployment of armed formations by the Georgian authorities on the territory of the republic" and an "open act of aggression aimed at destabilizing the military-political situation in the region."

According to the de-facto Foreign Ministry, the position of the co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions, the European Union, the OSCE and other international organizations is completely unacceptable for South Ossetia.

The US Department of State also issued a special statement, which reads that the Department calls on the Russian Federation to utilize all available channels to prevent further escalation.

“The United States is monitoring reports of military buildup near the administrative boundary line (ABL) of the Russian-occupied Georgian region of South Ossetia. We call on all sides to avoid escalation and work through the European Monitoring Mission hotline and the Geneva International Discussion Co-Chairs to resolve the situation. Further, we call on the Russian Federation to utilize all available channels to prevent further escalation of the situation along the ABL,” reads the statement published on the webpage of the US Department of State.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation accused Georgia of “escalated tensions on the border through provocative campaigns and political propaganda campaigns supported by Western countries.” As their statement reads, the Ministry urges “the parties to continue engaging in a constructive discussion on controversial issues, within the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, as well as in the Geneva discussions.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia expressed concerns about mobilization of military equipment and personnel by the occupation forces at the occupation line, as the statement reads, “such destructive actions, as wells as the totally unacceptable statements of the leaders of the occupation regime represent yet another provocation, which further aggravates the security environment and aims at destabilization of the situation.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the Russian Federation to cease such illegal actions, implement its international commitments, inter alia the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

A Polish politician and a member of the European Parliament, Anna Fotyga sees the threat of provocation and escalation in the concentration of Russian occupation forces near the village of Chorchana.

According to Fotyga, a strong international response is needed. She also believes that the budget of EUMM in Georgia should be increased in 2020.

As the Georgian government says, Chorchana is a territory controlled by Georgian authorities, and they deployed a police checkpoint there to ensure security.

The next meeting of Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism is scheduled to take place on October 2.