Tbilisi said on Saturday that a recent “illegal” border marking activities by the “Russian occupying forces” in the vicinity of the major east-west highway at the administrative boundary line with breakaway South Ossetia resulted into falling of a small portion of the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline within the territory occupied by Russia.
830km BP-operated Baku-Supsa pipeline, also known as the Western Route Export Pipeline (WREP), runs from Azerbaijan to the Georgian Black Sea terminal of Supsa and has the capacity of transporting up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day.
“On July 10, 2015, Russian occupying forces illegally placed banners marking the so called ‘border’ on the territory adjacent to the village of Tsitelubani of Gori municipality and the village of Orchosani in occupied Akhalgori district [of South Ossetia], in close vicinity to the Tbilisi-Gori central highway,” the Georgian Interior Ministry said.
“It is noteworthy that certain segments of Baku-Supsa pipeline run in the vicinity of the both areas and with this illegal action a certain portion of the pipeline next to the village of Orchosani fell within the occupied territory,” the Interior Ministry said.
“The Georgian Interior Ministry expresses deep concern over deliberate provocative actions by the Russian occupying forces, which are directed towards destabilization of the situation and pose a threat to peace and stability on the ground,” it said.
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Locals in Tsitelubani village told the Georgian public broadcaster that the location where the border markers were placed means that parts of their farmland may now fall in the areas outside Tbilisi’s control.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said it “condemns this illegal action” and called on “assess appropriately” this move, which is “directed against peace and security.”