On January 24, occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia temporarily opened the Odzisi (Mosabruni) crossing point for a certain group of Akhalgori Municipality residents, enabling them to travel to Tbilisi-administered territory.
The State Security Service of Georgia (SSG) confirmed to Civil Georgia that the crossing point has been opened only for a certain category of people, and noted that representatives of occupying regime did not clarify how long it will stay open.
Based on SSG, as of now, there are 24 residents of occupied Akhalgori Municipality on the Tbilisi-administered territory, and all of them are pensioners.
The Moscow-backed leadership of Tskhinvali region announced on December 2 that Akhalgori residents who have neither “South Ossetian nor Russian citizenship” and need medical aid that Tskhinvali cannot provide, would be able to cross the Odzisi crossing point and move to Tbilisi-controlled territory for medical treatment.
According to the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), in normal days, Odzisi crossing point is crossed approximately 400 times daily.
Commenting on the matter, Georgian State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili said that “it is good that this particular group of people has got an opportunity to move freely,” adding that all other people should also [be able] exercise the same right.
She stressed that the crossing point should be opened unconditionally and completely and that “free movement should be ensured. “Still, this measure represents a kind of relief for locals, who have been locked in actual slavery for already five months that poses a threat to their vital interests,” Tsikhelashvili said.
The State Minister overseeing the occupied regions also noted that she talked to the co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions on the recent humanitarian crisis in Akhalgori and expressed her hope that more people would enjoy the opportunity of free movement in the future.