EUMM confirms new lines have been ploughed across the ABL by occupants near Tskhinvali

The mission maintains a reinforced patrolling presence in the Nikozi area. Photo: Reuters, 11 May 2018 - 12:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

The EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) has taken note of statements regarding the situation in the area of Nikozi close to the South Ossetian Administrative Boundary Line (ABL).

"The Mission can confirm that some of the lines ploughed in May in its analysis are indeed ploughed across the Administrative Boundary Line,” says the statement released today.

The de facto leadership of Georgia’s eastern occupied Tskhinvali has started digging anti-fire ditches near the occupation lines, which separate the breakaway territory from the rest of Georgia on May 8.

Following reports said that the occupants dug the ditches not only on the Russia-controlled territory, but also on Tbilisi- administered area which was strongly condemned by the Georgian government.It is the third year that Tskhinvali has dug ditches "to protect itself” from fires which may spread from Tbilisi-controlled territory.

The mission maintains a reinforced patrolling presence in the Nikozi area and is going to continue to monitor, record and report on activities that "affect the stability and freedom of movement in line with its mandate.”

The EUMM notes that recent developments at the ABL will be addressed by participants at the next meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism to take place in Ergneti on 15 May.