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Yet Another Technical Meeting Held in Ergneti Over Disputed Police Checkpoint

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Security officials from Tbilisi, Tskhinvali and Russian Federation held the fifth “technical meeting” in village Ergneti, near the occupation line with Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia on October 1 over the disputed Georgian police checkpoint close to occupation line in Chorchana-Tsnelisi area.

Following the meeting, Deputy Director of the Analytical Department of the State Security Service of Georgia, Irakli Antadze, stated that the participants from Tskhinvali “still did not appear to be ready for a constructive dialogue.”

He said, the Georgian participants demanded suspension of “all the illegal activities” that cause tension on the ground, whereas Tskhinvali demanded dismantling of a Georgian police checkpoint, which, according to Antadze is “unacceptable.”

Antadze again noted that the above checkpoint is located “on the central Government-controlled territory,” and that discussions over this issue would continue at the upcoming round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID).

On his part, Tskhinvali representative Egor Kochiev also told local media that the sides did not yet manage to negotiate. He said, the “South Ossetian security forces are present in this region with one sole purpose to protect the population of the republic of South Ossetia and its territory.”

Head of the European Union Monitoring Mission Erik Høeg also wrote on his official Twitter page following the meeting that positions over the disputed Chorchana-Tsnelisi area “remain far apart.” “EUMM will continue to facilitate dialogue through IPRM meetings and via the hotline,” he noted.

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 the first “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.

However, following the unanimous denial from Tbilisi to dismantle the checkpoint, in Tit-for-Tat move Tskhinvali started works to “mark the border” in Chorchana-Tsnelisi area, by placing “border signs” and their flag on Tbilisi-controlled territory west of Tsnelisi village on height 944.8m.

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

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