Georgia Condemns Advancing Russian Occupation

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has condemned Russian occupation forces deployed in central Georgia in the breakaway region of South Ossetia (Tskhinvali), who have moved now the occupation line further into Georgian territory by 500 meters.

The president stressed that Georgia will use all diplomatic levers at its disposal to stop the advancing occupation.

“It is very important for us that any act of violation of Georgia's territorial integrity is strictly condemned,” a statement by Margvelashvili says.

Georgian State Security Service (SSS) has also expressed concern over the issue, saying “this represents a continuation of the so-called borderization process, which not only restricts the fundamental rights of local inhabitants, but directly impacts security in the area.”

The SSS added the issue will be discussed at the meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in July 11 in the village of Ergneti.

Gori Governor Davit Tsertsvadze stated that Russian soldiers resumed fortification efforts along the so-called border of de facto South Ossetia and moved the so-called border sign 500 meters into Georgian-controlled territory.

The governor added that due to the erection of the sign, residents of the village of Bershueti - the Chilindrishvili and the Khodeli families have been deprived of access to 20 hectares of agricultural land, owned by them.

Georgia’s State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili says that the erection of border signs by the occupation force and other similar activities not only threatens the security environment but also creates serious humanitarian problems for the local population.

“Any such acts are absolutely unacceptable, which, unfortunately, have been a common occurance since 2008. We are working on solving humanitarian problems in order to enable the population access to their land," said Tsikhelashvili.

So far two incidents have taken place on the mentioned territory over the last two years. Firstly, when two members of the Khodeli family were detained by border guards. The second incident happened last summer, when wooden poles were installed in the same place and the Chilindrillishvili family were not allowed to harvest their barley.

By Thea Morrison


04 July 2017 15:34