The Georgian Foreign Ministry released a statement on May 22, condemning the illegal “borderization” in Mereti village adjacent to Russian-occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia as well as Russia’s “increased provocations” and disinformation campaign against Georgia during the coronavirus pandemic.
The statement comes a day after the Russian occupying forces were spotted in Tbilisi-controlled Mereti village of Gori Municipality.
The Foreign Ministry said that “while the entire world is fighting against the grave outcomes” of COVID-19, Russian occupying forces keep installing barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers on the dividing lines of both occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.
According to the Foreign Ministry, just last week, “borderization” process was simultaneously underway on the territories adjacent to villages in three Georgian municipalities:
- Kareli Municipality – Tseronisi, Knolevi, Takhtisdziri, Dvani, Koda, Tchvrinisi and Atotsi villages, near Tskhinvali/South Ossetia;
- Tsalenjikha Municipality – Pakhulani and Muzhava villages, near Abkhazia;
- Zugdidi Municipality – Khurcha and Ganmukhuri villages, near Abkhazia.
It its statement, the Foreign Ministry decried the disinformation campaign rolled out against Georgia by the Russian Federation and Moscow-backed Tskhinvali’s collaborationist authorities.
It said Moscow “deliberately activates hybrid warfare tools” against Georgia and keeps on attacking the Lugar laboratory – the U.S.-funded bio lab subsidiary of the Georgian National Center for Disease Control and Public Health – with the “propagandistic myths.”
Tbilisi also called “absurd and comic” the accusations from Moscow and Tskhinvali as if the Georgian government “artificially spread the coronavirus in the occupied Tskhinvali region and collected specimen from locals.”
With its disinformation campaign, the Foreign Ministry said, Russia aims to undermine the trust of the Tskhinvali populace towards the Georgian government, and create chaos on the ground, which the ministry slammed as “an open attack” on Georgia’s healthcare policy and national security.
The Foreign Ministry called on Moscow to “immediately stop” provocations and its hybrid warfare against Georgia. It also called on the international community to “give due assessments to Russia’s destructive steps and take effective measures” to stop its “increased attacks” against Georgia.