The “security committee” of the Moscow-backed authorities of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia announced on September 9 that two crossing points – Mosabruni (“Razdakhan” in Ossetian version) and Sinaguri – connecting the region with the rest of Georgia will be closed temporarily, citing tensions coming from Tbilisi. It also noted that the crossing points will be opened as soon as “the situation returns back to normal.”
Later on the same day, “the foreign ministry” of occupied Tskhinvali Region accused Tbilisi of “criminal actions” and “provoking a crisis.”
It said that Tbilisi continues large scale preparations near the village of Tsnelisi, accompanied by increased presence of Georgian law enforcers on the ground.
Occupied Tskhinvali’s “foreign ministry” said that using financial resources received from “western donors” Georgia continues “creeping occupation on Ossetian territories,” as well as bribing of “South Ossetian” population. According to the same statement, Georgian project “Step for Better Future” sponsored by the ruling Georgian Dream party serves just this purpose.
Moscow-backed Tskhinvali’s “foreign ministry” also said that “any adventure” by the Georgian side is foredoomed to failure. “There is no Russian occupation. It has been invented by Georgian aggressors and their western patrons; only Georgia represents a security threat in the South Caucasus,” it added.
Commenting on the issue, Georgian Reconciliation Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili slammed the decision as “absolutely unacceptable,” noting that it was a tool for “exerting direct pressure” on local population. She said that “the region is fully being isolated and humanitarian situation is catastrophic.”
She also noted that the Georgian government is cooperating with international partners, including Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions. “We are using all these channels to spare no efforts for making at a glance a simple decision to ensure that people do not become hostages of such unjustified political interests,” she added.
The Georgian government constructed a police checkpoint at the edge of the occupation line, between the villages of Chorchana of Khashuri Municipality and Tsnelisi in late August.
Protesting the construction of the Georgian checkpoint, Tskhinvali representatives disrupted the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting in the village of Ergneti on 29 August, demanding Tbilisi to remove the checkpoint. The situation was defused somewhat, as the decision was reached to hold the “technical meeting.” However, the parties failed reach a consensus.
The KGB of the Moscow-backed Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia announced on September 5 that “border service” crew has started works to “mark the border” in the disputed Chorchana-Tsnelisi area. According to “security committee,” the “border guards” have placed “border signs” and raised their flag, providing a map showing the location.