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Georgian Officials Say Situation around Disputed Police Checkpoint ‘Stable’

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At 8 am of Friday morning Georgian authorities visited newly erected police checkpoint near Chorchana village of Khashuri Municipality at the edge of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia to familiarize themselves with the situation on ground along with the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM).

Protesting the erection of Georgian checkpoint, Russia-backed Tskhinvali authorities “disrupted” Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting in the village of Ergneti, south to the occupied region’s capital on Thursday. They put a condition to Tbilisi to remove the checkpoint by 6am of Friday morning, warning Tbilisi that failing to do so they will use “legal measures.”

Vladimer Bortsvadze, Deputy Interior Minister said the “situation is stable and under control.” According to him, representatives of Interior Ministry and other state bodies, as well as EUMM have stayed on location overnight. 

Bortsvadze stated “all the relevant mechanisms have been activated to regulate all the disputed issues through constructive cooperation,” without any further escalations.

Kakhaber Kemoklidze, chief of staff of Georgia’s National Security Council (NSC) said the erection of a checkpoint at has the sole purpose of “improving security on the ground”. He also added it “does not pose any problems to anyone, even less so to the [local] population behind the occupation line”.

“We call upon de-facto authorities as well as Russian Federation representatives to continue the dialogue [with Georgian authorities] aiming to settle the matter. We hope they will engage cooperatively”, Kemoklidze added.

Lasha Darsalia, Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister also visited the dividing line, and said the Ministry maintains constant contact with foreign partners. Darsalia said the main goal now is to make relevant steps together in order “to avoid further escalation” on ground.

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