The 99th Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) meeting was held on April 27 in Ergneti village near the occupation line of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
The EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), which co-facilitates the IPRMs, reported that the discussions “focused on issues pertaining to stabilization and normalization, including ‘borderization’ processes along the ABL, detention cases and the wider effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The co-facilitators – Head of EUMM Head Marek Szczygieł and Special Representative of OSCE CiO for the South Caucasus Annika Söder – took note of recent changes concerning freedom of movement and pandemic-related measures, calling on both sides to “implement further solutions to improve the socio-economic situation stemming from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing closure of the crossing points.”
After the meeting, the State Security Service of Georgia (SSG) stated that Tbilisi requested the unconditional and immediate release of illegally detained Georgian citizens, including Zaza Gakheladze, by the Kremlin-backed authorities. “Work continues in this regard, and most importantly there is agreement [on both sides] to continue the dialogue,” said Irakli Antadze of the SSG.
Zviad Zviadadze, a State Ministry for Reconciliation representative at the meeting, said the sides plan to hold technical meetings in a few weeks to ensure a safe security situation on the ground during the upcoming agricultural works season, and discuss taking care of irrigation canals, “a major problem for the region.”
Moscow-backed Tskhinvali representative Igor Kochiev at the meeting accused Tbilisi of violating S. Ossetian “airspace” with quadrocopter drones, a “provocation” he claimed Georgian police officers near the dividing line condone, as reported by Res news agency. Kochiev reportedly claimed that Tbilisi authorities said the drones were used by civilians, police officers were present at the launch sites.
The 100th IPRM meeting will be held in the week starting from June 14.