The European Union Monitoring mission (EUMM), the only international monitoring presence in Georgian [with no access to occupied regions] has confirmed that “significant borderisation activities have been taking place in the area of the Georgian villages of Atotsi (Balta) since early November 2018.”
A total of nearly 400 meters of new fencing work, running alongside the administrative boundary line with South Ossetia, have been observed by EUMM patrols in the area.
The EUMM is closely monitoring and reporting on such borderization activities that affect stability as well as the rights of people in the area,” the EUMM reported.
The mission stated that “regrettably, such infrastructure creates additional obstacles for freedom of movement” - and potentially the livelihoods - of the local population living on both sides of the occupation line.
It says that their managed hotline has been used extensively to communicate on the matter during the past days.
The EUMM has been urging relevant security bodies to avoid any further steps that could increase tensions,” the EUMM reports.
The mission says that the situation in Atotsi underscores the importance of re-establishing the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meetings in Ergneti where matters like this affecting stability on the ground can be addressed.
The EUMM as co-facilitator urges for a swift resumption of the IPRM format, which has since 2009 contributed to stability and security,” the statement reads.
Previous IPRM meetings have been left in protest by the representatives of de facto leadership of Georgian occupied regions and Russia, as Georgia had produced a list of people who have violated the rights of Georgian citizens in the occupied regions since 1990s.
The list provides sanctions for people in Georgia and abroad.
The statement says that in line with its mandate the mission keeps EU institutions and EU member states updated with an accurate and timely picture of the situation on the ground.