The 103rd Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRM) meeting was held on November 18 in Ergneti village near the occupation line of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
The EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), that co-facilitated the meeting together with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), reported that the participants primarily focused on the impact of the closure of crossing points, security developments at the dividing line, detention cases, the situation in the Chorchana-Tsnelisi area and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The co-facilitators, Annika Söder, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus and Kate Fearon, Deputy Head of the EUMM stressed the importance of continued dialogue and reiterated their readiness to support all efforts towards the resumption of greater freedom of movement.
Co-facilitator Annika Söder called on participants to apply a pragmatic and humanitarian approach during the upcoming holiday season, according to the same report.
Irakli Antadze of the State Security Service of Georgia (SSG), on his part, said that at the meeting Tbilisi raised the issue of illegal borderization alongside Kirbali village and illegal detentions of Georgian citizens, placing special attention on the health condition of Genadi Bestaev – a Georgian citizen taken into Tskhinvali custody two years ago and released on November 17 after suffering a stroke. Calling Bestaev “a victim of occupation,” Antadze said they requested to provide information about the days preceding Bestaev’s stroke, who is currently treated in Tbilisi.
Antadze reiterated that the illegal detention of Georgians around the occupation line is “is particularly dangerous and causes irreparable damage to the security environment on the ground.”
Moscow-backed Tskhinvali representative Igor Kochiev denied allegations about Bestaev’s ill-treatment in Tskhinvali, RES news agency reported. Kochiev accused Georgian media outlets of politicization the issue of Bestaev’s release and treatment.
He also said Tskhinvali had demanded the removal of a Georgian police checkpoint in Chorchana village and claimed the dividing line had been repeatedly violated by unmanned aerial vehicles, so-called drones, from Tbilisi-controlled territory.
The next IPRM in Ergneti is slated for January 20, 2022.