Georgian Politicians on Renewed ‘Borderization’ on Tbilisi-administered Territory

Georgian politicians have denounced the ongoing “borderization” on Tbilisi-controlled territory near Chorchana village of Khashuri Municipality, at the dividing line with Russian-occupied Tskhinvali Region.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili commented on the issue, noting that as Georgian government cannot exercise control over its Russian-occupied territories, intensifying diplomatic efforts remains the only mechanism at Georgia’s disposal. 

“I have said for multiple times that we should intensify the Geneva format, hold it at a higher level and return a political context to it. We should work actively in terms of bilateral diplomacy. We should use all our diplomatic, peaceful levers,” she stated.

Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, Georgian minister overseeing occupied regions, slammed Tskhinvali for “total restriction” of freedom of movement between Georgia proper and occupied Akhalgori district, home of ethnic Georgian majority. She stressed that Moscow-backed Tskhinvali is holding the local population “hostages” amid Chorchana checkpoint crisis.

“With that, they want to exert pressure… which is unacceptable not only politically and legally, but in terms of human [rights] norms as well, as it creates humanitarian crisis; it is necessary to restore [freedom of] movement to avoid worse [consequences],” Tsikhelashvili stated. 

Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze also commented on the issue, saying the provocations “that we observe on a daily basis,” contradict with international law and Georgian legislation. Therefore, “the Russian Federation will have to revoke occupation,” Speaker Talakvadze noted.

“These walls of barbed wires will become more and more incompatible with modernity and dissolve. We will restore relations and bridges with the Abkhaz, Ossetians… Georgia will get united,” Talakvadze stated. 

Reactions from the opposition

Lawmakers from United National Movement and European Georgia, Salome Samadashvili and Giga Bokeria, respectively, spoke of Russian occupation as well. 

MP Samadashvili considers that the ruling Georgian Dream party “continues to cooperate” with Russia despite the existing situation at the occupied territories and its adjacent areas, while Russia is carrying out its agenda on the ground.

“The issue of occupation in Georgia has factually disappeared from the international organizations’ agenda… [We have] no steps forward, but a lot of steps back,” she stated. 

European Georgia’s Bokeria considers that in the best case, the ruling party has a naïve [position,] in the worst case scenario, this is their [deliberate] harmful [position]. Bokeria noted that after assuming power in 2012, ruling Georgian Dream party “pulled riot police back from the occupation line and did nothing to force the Russian Federation to pay a high political price for pushing the occupation line [further into Tbilisi-administered territory], kidnappings and killings.”

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