EURACTIV: COVID-19 fight and borderisation - Georgia sets good example

Georgian servicemen inspects cars and people at an entrance to Tbilisi, Georgia, 31 March 2020. Quarantine has been declared throughout Georgia due to the Covid-19. Photo: EPA-EFE/Zurab Kurtsikidze., Apr 21, 2020, Tbilisi, Georgia

EURACTIV has published an article written by Vlagyiszlav Makszimov about Georgia’s successful fight against the pandemic and the situation in its Russian-occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) and Abkhazia regions.

Makszimov writes that the Caucasian country is being lauded as a success story in the global fight against the pandemic, ‘with wide-ranging measures including lock-down of major cities, early travel restrictions, and mandatory quarantine zones at border crossings for returning citizens’.

For Russia, coronavirus is serving as a smokescreen for further ‘borderisation’,” the author reminds the quote of Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevičius.

Dennis Sammut, the director of LINKS Europe, a foundation based in The Hague promoting the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Europe’s neighborhood has given an interview to EURACTIV about the situation in Russian-occupied territories amid the pandemic.

 Abkhazians and Ossetians follow news and TV coverage and social media, so how the Georgian government and the Georgian people behave during the pandemic matters also in the context of the unresolved conflicts”, Sammut told EURACTIV.

Sammut also said that the long-term solution of the conflicts depends on whether Abkhaz and Ossetians can feel they can live comfortably wit Georgians in a common state.

There may be developments from this pandemic that can bring that possibility closer to reality”, told Sammut to EURACTIV.

Makszimov also writes that one Abkhazian woman was treated for the virus in Tbilisi-controlled territory in Late March, while South Ossetia has completely closed its border with Georgia after the coronavirus first appeared in the country.

It is astonishing that in the middle of this global emergency, Russia and its proxies in South Ossetia have continued with this activity, which inevitably stirs considerable passion on the Georgian side and concerns among the international community”, said Sammut.

Read the full story here.