Developments in Chorchana-Tsnelisi Area Discussed in Ergneti

On October 25, security officials from Tbilisi, Tskhinvali and the Russian Federation held the sixth “technical meeting” in village Ergneti, near the occupation line with Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, over the recent developments in Chorchana-Tsnelisi area.

Following the meeting, Irakli Antadze, Deputy Director of the Analytical Department of the State Security Service of Georgia, said that today’s meeting was “entirely dedicated” to discussing the “negative developments and provocative actions” along the Chorchana village. 

“Positions remain unchanged,” Antadze said, explaining that representatives of Tskhinvali again demanded the Georgian police checkpoint “to be dismantled,” which, according to Antadze, is located on the “central government-controlled territory.”

Antadze then explained that the Georgian police forces, who are ensuring security on the ground, cannot pose any threat to the local peaceful population. He also said that the “provocative actions of occupation forces” along the Tsagvli-Chorchana area, affect the overall security environment on the ground.

Condemning yesterday’s incident when the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) patrol “was briefly held by armed South Ossetian security actors, while conducting a patrol in the Chorchana-Tsnelisi area,” the Deputy Director of the Analytical Department said the issue was also raised at the technical meeting. 

On his part, Tskhinvali representative Egor Kochiev also told local media that during the sixth technical meeting, the participants could not reach a compromise. However, he said, all of them acknowledge that “the issue should be solved exclusively in a peaceful way.”

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 checkpoint, Tskhinvali representatives disrupted the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting in the village of Ergneti on August 29, 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 to reach a consensus anyway.

In a tit-for-tat move Tskhinvali announced on September 5 that “border service” crew has started works to “mark the border” in the disputed Chorchana-Tsnelisi area, by placing “border signs” and their flag on Tbilisi-controlled territory west of Tsnelisi village on height 944.8m.

The Georgian State Security Service reported earlier this month that Russian occupying forces “continue provocative actions” near the villages of Chorchana, Tsaghvli and Atotsi of Khashuri Municipality adjacent to Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, through the process of illegal “borderization.”

Representatives of Tbilisi, Moscow and Tskhinvali will continue discussing the issue of disputable posts during next technical meetings.


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