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Georgia condemns Russia-Tskhinvali ‘border deal’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, May 3
Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has released a special statement in which it strongly condemned the recent ratification of an agreement between Russia and Georgia’s de-facto region Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) over establishing ‘state borders’.

Russian and Tskhinvali news agencies and officials said the document contained a detailed description of the state borderline between the ‘Republic of South Ossetia’ and Russia that runs along the Caucasus Mountain range.

Murat Dzhioyev, the South Ossetian president’s special envoy for postwar settlement, told Russia’s news agency Tass that a map depicting the ‘state border’, which used to exist in the former USSR, was attached to the bill as a supplement.

In its statement, Georgia’s MFA said the agreement had no legal power as it violated international rules and legislation and could only be considered a part of Russia’s occupation policy.

The MFA said Russia was siply trying to ‘mask’ and ‘legalise’ its occupation of two Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali after the Russia-Georgia war of 2008.

In the context, the Georgian body highlighted the treaties of cooperation between Russia and the de-facto regions as well as recent claims of Tskhinvali to hold a referendum to fully join the Russian Federation.

The MFA repeated that Russia has violated the ceasefire agreement signed with Georgia on August 12 2008, and appealed to the international community to ‘appropriately evaluate’ Russia’s occupation actions.

“We request that the international community relevantly assess Russia’s continued steps against Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity for Russia to meet the ceasefire deal and de-occupy Georgia,” the MFA wrote.

The body also emphasised the importance of an international security mechanism that would ensure safe and peaceful return of Internally Displaced People to the regions.