The State Security Service of Georgia (SSG) announced on April 17 that Russian occupying forces have continued “illegal borderization” near the village of Takhtisdziri of Kareli Municipality along the dividing line between Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia and Georgia proper.
According to the SSG, the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) has been informed and the EUMM-managed hotline has been activated.
“Such illegal actions significantly damage the security environment on the ground, as well as everyday life of local population,” it said.
Georgian State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili said that amid global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, illegal borderization carried out by the occupying regime clearly demonstrates the latter’s real face.
Minister Tsikhelashvili also noted that she raised the issue with the Co-Chairs of Geneva International Discussions, adding that “a notification has been sent to the EU Monitoring Mission with a request to carry out patrolling on the ground.”
The Georgian Foreign Ministry also condemned the illegal process of erecting “border signs” along the occupation line in a special statement released on April 17. It said that artificial barriers erected by the occupying forces have restricted the access of the local population to their agricultural plots.
“Amid the coronavirus pandemic, especially a few days before Easter, by taking such provocative steps, the Russian Federation is deliberately trying to escalate the situation on the ground and aggravate the security environment. With these steps, Russia and its occupying regime put the conflict-affected local population, which already suffers from severe humanitarian consequences of Russia’s illegal occupation, in unbearable situation,” the statement reads.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry called on the Russian Federation “to immediately stop provocative and destructive actions and fulfill its international commitments.”
It also called on the international community to adequately respond to “illegal processes” ongoing on the occupation line.
Slamming “further borderization” as completely unacceptable, Carl Hartzell, the EU Ambassador to Georgia, called on Russian and Tskhinvali security actors to refrain from taking the steps that could escalate the situation in the region.
Further “borderisation” from Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia is completely unacceptable. I call on South Ossetian and Russian security actors to immediately stop these activities and to refrain from any further steps that could escalate the situation.
— Carl Hartzell (@CarlHartzellEU) April 17, 2020
Marek Szczygieł, Head of EU Monitoring Mission to Georgia said the EUMM closely monitors situation across the dividing line in Takhtisdziri village.
Easter time traditionally brings both peace and people together. Important to remain calm and avoid any provocation. @EUMM closely monitors the situation along ABL in Takhtisdziri area.#stabilisation #ABL #normalisation
— EUMM Head of Mission (@EUMMGeorgia_HoM) April 17, 2020