The 101st Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) meeting was held on July 13 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 the “prolonged” closure of crossing points and other restrictions, security developments on the ground, “current detention cases, and on the consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
The co-facilitators – Head of EUMM Marek Szczygieł and Special Representative of OSCE CiO for the South Caucasus Annika Söder – called for “mutually acceptable solutions that uphold humanitarian principles and respond positively to the needs and human rights of the conflict-affected population.”
They also reiterated their readiness to support efforts toward resuming freedom of movement across the dividing line and resolving irrigation water management issues.
State Security Service of Georgia (SSG) stated that Tbilisi officials at the meeting raised the issues of ongoing “illegal borderization activities” and arbitrary detentions of Georgian citizens, including Zaza Gakheladze and Genadi Bestaev.
Irakli Antadze of the SSG said “certain possibilities have been identified” regarding Gakheladze, but refrained from providing additional details. The Georgian citizen was illegally sentenced to twelve years and six months in Tskhinvali prison in February, after being shot, wounded and detained by the occupying forces in July 2020.
Moscow-backed Tskhinvali representative Igor Kochiev at the meeting accused Georgian police forces of “either committing” or allowing others to commit “violations” along the dividing line. He claimed Davit Katsarava, an anti-occupation activist, had crossed the occupying line and vowed the Kremlin-backed authorities “will suppress all these violations.”
According to Tskhinvali-based RES news agency, Kochiev also leveled at the meeting repeated accusations of Tbilisi “violating” S. Ossetian “airspace,” claiming that since the previous IPRM meeting a helicopter and a light aircraft have flown into the Tskhinvali Region from Georgia proper.
The 102nd IPRM meeting has been scheduled for September 27.
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