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Barbed wires near Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia. Photo: Eana Korbezashvili / Civil.ge

Tbilisi Denounces Occupation Line Fencing

Georgian Foreign Ministry condemns launching of works to erect barbed wire fences near Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, aimed at marking the occupation line with artificial barriers.

Up to one kilometer-long fence is reportedly being placed by the Russian occupation forces close to the Atotsi village in the Kareli municipality, in southwest from Tskhinvali, leaving farmlands of several local residents beyond the new marker.

The Foreign Ministry said, Russia “blatantly violates” fundamental principles of international law and urged Moscow to “stop illegal actions against Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” and withdraw its military units from the country’s territory.

“This illegal action of the Russian occupation regime aims at further escalating the situation on the ground, restricting freedom of movement of the conflict affected population and further isolating them from the rest of Georgia,” Foreign Ministry stated yesterday, adding that erection of “illegal barriers” at the occupation line would badly affect already “grave humanitarian situation of the local population.”

The Foreign Ministry also called on the international community “to assess appropriately Russia’s provocative steps and to take efficient measures” against Russia’s “illegal occupation and factual annexation” of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions.

In a statement released yesterday, the “security service” of the Moscow-backed Tskhinvali authorities said, the works for installation of “barrier fences” were renewed close to the Balta village in Znauri district, west of Tskhinvali on November 1.

State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili arrived at the occupation line this morning and met with the local population. “We will not tolerate this; we will not get broken; we will become even stronger and we will not stop our peaceful fight until the last meter of this shameful barbed wire dismantles on our country’s territory,” Tsikhelashvili said.

The Minister believes that by erecting markers, the occupation forces are turning Tskhinvali into a “military ghetto,” keeping people under “grave conditions. “Almost 90% of people, who are being detained by Russian military servicemen while crossing non-existing border, are exactly those [people] who live in the occupied territory nowadays and need movement,” Tsikhelashvili underscored.

The State Security Service, Georgia’s domestic intelligence service, also confirmed that “illegal borderization” near Atotsi village “damages security environment on the ground and significantly restricts freedom of movement of the local population.”

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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