First meeting in frames of incident prevention mechanisms, tentatively agreed during the recent round of talks in Geneva, was held between the representatives of the Georgian side, the South Ossetian sides, the Russian forces and OSCE and EU monitors on April 23. The meeting was held in a specially erected tent between the Georgian and South Ossetian checkpoints at the Ergneti village on the administrative border, Civil Georgia reports.
Shota Utiashvili, head of the Georgian Interior Ministry’s information and analytical department, told journalists after the meeting that “no progress on concrete issues” had been made.
“We [the sides] agree that this format is necessary and we have agreed that the [next] meeting will apparently take place in early May,” Utiashvili told journalists in Ergneti after the meeting. An exact date has yet to be agreed.
Sergey Antonov, deputy chief of staff of the Russia’s land forces, told Interfax news agency that the sides agreed to establish “a 24-hour hotline.” Establishment of such “hotline” for having contacts between the sides was part of the incident prevention proposals agreed during the Geneva meeting in February.
Shota Utiashvili told Civil.Ge later on April 23, that the Georgian side was ready to establish this type of hotline and an officer from the Shida Kartli police department had already been assigned as a liaison officer for that purpose. He said it was now up to the South Ossetian side to take the similar steps. He also said fact that the first meeting took place was a positive step in itself.