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Russia Concerned by ‘Escalation of Tension’ near Occupation Line

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The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed its “serious concern” over the “escalation of tension” amid the contruction of a Georgian police checkpoint between the Chorchana village in Tbilisi-controlled Khashuri Municipality and Tsnelisi village controlled by occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

In a statement of August 30, Russian Foreign Ministry said Tbilisi has made “provocative steps” amid its refusal to Tskhinvali to start “negotiations on border delimitation and demarcation.” Therefore, the Ossetian side “was forced” to start works itself to ensure security of local population. “This is the sovereign right of the South Ossetia, like any other state,” it said.

It then noted that Tbilisi, supported by the western stated, “deliberately ignited tension on the border through provocative rallies and political propaganda campaign,” which “heated tension in the region, leading to current aggreviations.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry called on the sides to continue constructive discussions of the “disputed issues” in the frames of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) and the Geneva International Discussions (GID).

Protesting the construction of the Georgian checkpoint, Tskhinvali representatives have disrupted the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting in the village of Ergneti on 29 August. They demanded Tbilisi to remove the checkpoint by 6am on 30 August, threatening use of “all legal measures” at their disposal. The situation was defused somewhat, as the decision was reached to hold the “technical meeting.”

The following day, security officials from Tbilisi, Tskhinvali and Russian Federation held a “technical meeting” in occupied village of Tsnelisi, to discuss the escalation around the Georgian police checkpoint at the edge of the occupation line, between the villages of Chorchana and Tsnelisi.

The Georgian officials said after the meeting that the sides will continue negotiations over te issues and meet next week in Ergneti, the village that usually hosts IPRMs. However, they unanimously said the Georgian police checkpoint will not be dismantled. In response to Tbilisi, Tskhinvali officials said a similar checkpoint will be constructed on other side of the occupation line as well.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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