On March 22, the 92nd Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) Meeting was held in village Ergneti, near to the occupation line with Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
The EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), which co-facilitates IPRMs, said in its press release that “the gathering was conducted in an open and constructive atmosphere”.
EUMM cited its Head Erik Høeg, as saying that “the overall security situation had remained relatively stable,” and urging all participants “to continue using the EUMM managed hotline to prevent incidents and exchange information.”
Reopening of crossing points connecting Tskhinvali region with the rest of the country, the deaths of Archil Tatunashvili and Davit Basharuli, “borderization” and illegal detention of Georgian citizens along the occupation line were also on the agenda.
In his press remarks, Irakli Antadze of the State Security Service of Georgia (SSG), said officials from Tbilisi have again “categorically demanded” transfer of Tatunashvili’s internal organs and personal belongings. “We aim to reveal the perpetrators and to ensure that they are delivered to justice,” Antadze also said.
Antadze has deflected journalists’ queries which aimed to clarify the details of the recent events in a village of Khurvaleti. Concerning the restrictions imposed by the Georgian police on civilians, including journalists, wishing to enter Khurvaleti, Antadze said these restrictions “were preventive in character” and aimed to “protect the civilians from threats emanating from the occupying territory”, without specifying the precise nature of the current threat, or the duration of restrictions.
Igor Kochiev, who spoke on behalf of the Moscow-backed Tskhinvali leader, Anatoly Bibilov, denounced the ongoing NATO-Georgia Exercise, saying “in case of any provocative actions, South Ossetia will turn to its mighty ally, and we will protect our territory.”
Questioned about the recent events in Khurvaleti, which led to much media speculation due to contradictory reports, Kochiev said “prompt actions of the Georgian and South Ossetian law enforcers have averted the incident” there, explaining that under “provocation” he meant a planned action by David Katsarava, a leader of the anti-occupation Strength in Unity movement.
Kochiev said Tskinvali voiced protest over alleged crossing of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the “direction of the Georgian villages”. He also said humanitarian matters, such as the field fires were discussed.
The next IPRM meeting will be held in Ergneti on May 16.