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Fifth technical meeting in Ergneti, unsuccessful

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, October 2
The fifth technical meeting was completed in Ergneti on October 1st. At issue were checkpoints located on the Chorchana-Tsnelisi forest section. The Georgian authorities deployed a police checkpoint in the Chorchani forest on August 30, which was followed by protests from the de facto South Ossetian authorities and they demanded the dismantling of the police checkpoint. However, the central authorities say they do not intend to do so.

As the Deputy Director of the Analytical Department of the State Security Service, Irakli Antadze said, they talked about the developments in the vicinity of Chorchani, but due to the tough position of the Tskhinvali representatives, a constructive dialogue was not possible.

“We reiterated the position of the central government in this regard, unfortunately, the Tskhinvali participants were still not ready for constructive dialogue. In particular, our request was to stop any illegal activity in the forest area near Tsnelisi-Chorchana, which is a contributing factor to the tense situation on the ground. On the contrary, they have repeatedly stated their position to remove the standard Georgian police checkpoint and leave the area, which is unacceptable,” said Irakli Antadze, Deputy Director of the Analytical Department of the State Security Service.

According to him, on October 2, the planned Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism meeting will no longer be held. Tskhinvali refused to take part in it.

The talks will continue in the format of the Geneva talks, within the meeting scheduled for next week in Geneva.

As for the closing so-called border in Akhalgori, according to Antadze, the issue was discussed during the technical meeting. As he reported, the de-facto government officials have linked the issue of the so-called "Akhalgori" border to the ongoing processes near Chorchani village. The Georgian side responded that this is only a humanitarian issue. It’s the local population using the crossings and their deterioration will make living conditions worse. According to Antadze, the other side had no constructive position regarding this issue either. The discussion regarding this issue will continue in the format of the Geneva International Discussion as well.

The situation on the occupation line has been tense since late August. After the opening of a Georgian police checkpoint near the village of Chorchana in Khashuri municipality the occupation forces placed “border checkpoint” near the occupied village of Tsneli, on the territory controlled by the central authorities.

According to Antadze, now there are two flags of de-facto South Ossetia on the territory between Chochana and Tsnelisi one illegal checkpoint.