Following a meeting between Sokhumi’s top diplomat Inal Ardzinba and the Russian representative Mikhail Shurgalin on 17 October, local news agency Apsnypress reported that the two sides touched upon the possibility of resuming the Gali round of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs).
The last meeting, 57th IPRM, was suspended in Gali in 2018 after Russian and Abkhaz participants left the meeting over their disagreement with Georgian representatives, who wanted the case of Giga Otkhozoria, allegedly murderer by Rashid Kanji-Ogli, an Abkhaz officer, to be on the agenda.
IPRM Gali had been suspended several times since 2010. The longest such pause started in 2012, when Sokhumi pronounced the then-head of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) as an “undesirable person on the Abkhaz territory.” Despite a new head being appointed at EUMM in 2013, the IPRM meetings did not resume until 2016.
The IPRMs format was established under the Geneva International Discussions to address the security concerns and developments on the ground on a regular basis and involves officials from Tbilisi on the one hand and representatives of Tskhinvali and Sokhumi authorities on the other in two, separate meetings, as well as representatives of the Russian border troops.