EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) said it has intensified patrols in the areas adjacent to breakaway regions’ administrative border on the eve of the last August war’s anniversary. “So far, despite the heightened tension and claims of incidents, the overall situation remains broadly calm. We very much trust that all parties will continue their efforts to maintain this position,” EUMM said in a statement on August 6.
EUMM again called on all the parties to refrain from “any words or actions that could be misunderstood or misinterpreted” and to raise any issues of concern in frames of incident prevention and response mechanism.“We stand ready to facilitate further meetings between the parties as necessary. We are also willing to examine further evidence if given access across the administrative boundary lines to do so,” EUMM said.
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Greek Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoyannis, also called on the parties on August 6 to refrain from “actions and statements that could destabilize the situation further.” “Almost a year after the beginning of the conflict, we are facing a highly sensitive time,” she said in a statement. “Wounds are still raw, and the region remains fragile and volatile.”
OSCE had to close
its mission in Georgia in late June, after Russia vetoed extension of its mandate. Bakoyannis said that the Greek “status-neutral proposal” for renewal of the mission “remains on the table.”
“We remain focused on finding a solution that would enable the OSCE to havea strong presence in Georgia, and we hope that despite the difficulties so far, we will be able to find consensus on a format for such work,” Bakoyannis said.
In 2008, the Russian Federation launched a full-scale assault against a sovereign state—its immediate neighbor, Georgia. This incursion, systematically preceded by political and other provocations, was the violent climax of policies pursued by Russia against Georgia over many years. Rather than work to peacefully resolve the conflicts in Georgia, Russia systematically stoked them. Moscow interfered in Georgian politics, supplied separatist militias with arms, ignored its peacekeeping responsibilities, failed to prevent widespread ethnic cleansing of Georgians and, ultimately, sought to annex Georgian territories by means of military force. Russia’s main goals have been to annex Georgian territories, overthrow Georgia’s legitimate government, subvert Georgia’s independence, curtail Georgia’s sovereignty, and send a message to its neighbors and to the West that it is in control of what it calls its “sphere of privileged interest”.
To date,the Russian Federation has only partially achieved its aims: since August 2008, inalienable parts of Georgia – namely, Abkhazia and the South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region – now exist under a state of full-scale Russian military occupation (note, however, that these areas had previously been controlled by Russian military and law enforcement forces, disguised as “peacekeepers”).
Read full report at civil.ge
President Saakashvili said on June 5, that Georgia reacted firmly and did not “swallowed” removal of “Abkhazia, Georgia” wording from the UN Secretary General’s recent report on Abkhazia. Civil Georgia reports.
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.
Both the Georgian and South Ossetian sides have reported that a shooting took place at an administrative border in south-east from Tskhinvali on April 22, Civil Georgia reports. The both sides have blamed each other of opening fire.
The Georgian Interior Ministry said that fire was opened at the Georgian police post in the village of Plavi “from various directions from the Russian-occupied South Ossetian territory” at 8:30pm on April 22. Shooting from automatic weapons lasted for several minutes, the Georgian Interior Ministry said.
The South Ossetian side, however, claimed that its village of Otrev in an immediate vicinity of the administrative border line came under fire from the Georgian side with use of automatic weapons. “The South Ossetian side has not yielded to this provocation and has not opened a response fire,” Ibragim Gassiev, the breakaway region’s deputy defense minister, said in remarks posted on website of the region’s ministry for information and press.
Hundreds of Russian troops have moved into a disputed Georgian village near the rebel region of South Ossetia after Russian forces previously appeared to be pulling out, Georgian police said on Saturday.
European Union ceasefire monitors confirmed the Russian soldiers had entered the village of Perevi and called for their immediate withdrawal.
Interior ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said from 500 to 600 Russian soldiers moved into Perevi early Saturday in what he described as a "military operation" involving paratroopers, helicopters and armoured vehicles. (AFP)
The situation in and around Georgia’s conflict areas remains unstable. Violent incidents are continuing. Shots were fired near a convoy carrying the Georgian and Polish presidents on 23 November. European Union (EU) monitors are being denied access to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Unambitious multi-party negotiations focusing on security and internally displaced person (IDP) return have gotten off to a slow start in Geneva. For the moment, however, domestic politics are the capital’s main preoccupation. President Mikheil Saakashvili’s position is at least temporarily secure, but his administration is likely to be severely tested politically and economically in the winter and spring months ahead. The August 2008 war with Russia and the global financial crisis have seriously undermined Georgia’s economy and the foreign investment climate. Social discontent could rise as economic conditions worsen unless the government pushes forward with economic and political change. Click here to view the full report of CRISIS GROUP INTERNATIONAL or read an overview on my blog.