7 Feb 2019 - 18:53
Occupying forces have installed a lookout tower at the Khurvaleti village, near the occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region to “exercise higher pressure on locals and check how many people are trying to cross illegal barriers,”, Georgian Reconciliation Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili says.
The Russia-controlled forces, who launched the installation process yesterday, have nearly completed works and erected the tower several steps from the orchards of locals, adjoining territory which is currently under the control of the central Georgian government.
The towers, illegal barbed-wire-fences and other artificial barriers are part of an everyday battle of the occupying force against locals. The tower is a new measure to exercise higher pressure on locals and control how many Ossetians are trying to cross the occupation line,” Tsikhelashvili said.
Tsikhelashvili cited Russian media outlet Sputnik by saying that this year more than 40 individuals have been detained for “illegally crossing the border.”
It is natural that more than 90 per cent of the individuals were trying to cross the so-called border from Tskhinvali to the rest of Georgia,” Tsikhelashvili said.
Tsikhelashvili stated that the almost month-long closure of the so-called border between the region and the rest of Georgia, because of the “threat of the H1N1 respiratory virus,” makes locals unable buy vitally important items.
Tsikhelashvili said that the erection of the lookout tower and the closure of the so-called border will be raised at the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism Meeting in Ergneti tomorrow, a local format created to discuss conflict-related humanitarian issues.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry says that Russia has two goals when it makes barriers between Georgia and its occupied regions.
The first goal is to demonstrate its power and the second is to hinder people-to-people relations, as the locals of the occupied regions are more and more interested to visit rest Georgian regions,” Vladimir Konstantinidi, a representative of the Georgian Foreign Ministry stated.
Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria are the five countries which have recognised the two occupied regions of Georgia as independent states since the Russia-Georgia 2008.
Creeping occupation is one of the major challenges for Georgia.
The occupying forces are continuously erecting barbed-wire-fences and other barriers on the lands of the Georgian population.
There are many cases when a piece of agricultural land or a house is taken under the control of occupying forces and the owner only has access to remaining parts.