Georgian police checkpoint to remain at occupation line, talks to continue to ease tension

  • Members of the central Georgian government said that today's meeting with de facto leadership in Ergneti was constructive. Photo: EUMM press office., 2 Sep 2019 - 19:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

Members of the central Georgian government and the de facto Tskhinvali leadership have held a four-hour meeting in the village of Ergneti earlier today to once again discuss the fate of the Georgian police checkpoint in the village of Chorchana in Khashuri municipality, near the occupation line on Tbilisi-administered territory.

The de facto leadership demanded the recently built checkpoint on August 29 be dismantled, citing ‘security threats’ and left the 95th Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism meeting (IPRM) in protest

On the next day a technical meeting was held in Ergneti, where the members of the central Georgian government said that the “ordinary police checkpoint with regular equipment for the safety of locals” would not be dismantled.

The central and the de facto leadership agreed to continue talks ‘to deescalate the situation’ and scheduled the technical meeting, mediated by the European Union Monitoring mission (EUMM), today.

Head of the EUMM mission to Georgia Erik Hoeg tweeted. 

The Chorchana checkpoint was the only issue discussed at today’s meeting. Members of de facto Tskhinvali government Egor Kochiev and Murad Jioev offered the talks to be continued to ease tension on the ground which, of course, we accepted,” Irakli Antadze from the Georgian State Security Service said.

Antadze stated that the talks will take place this month.

The technical talks is the part of the IPRM format. As for the IPRM meeting, as agreed, it will take place on October 2,” Antadze said.

He stated that “movement of military vehicles and heavily equipped people” are observed in the village of Tsnelisi, bordering Chorchana, which is under the control of occupying forces where Tskhinvali promised the construction of a checkpoint.

 Antadze said that at today's meeting the central Georgian government presented a drone, which de facto Tskhinvali leadership cited  to have been shot down on September 1.

The drone had no shots and we handed it to the EUMM,” Antadze said.

Head of the anti-occupation movement David Katsarava stated yesterday that they threw down the drone with their own drone. However, the de facto leadership said that they did not trust this account of events. 

Antadze stated that Kochiev and Jioev did not confirm the restriction of movement to the Akhalgori district, as was reported by the media.

Residents of the Chorchana village reported earlier this year that they saw trees marked in yellow in the Chorchana forest, which house ores of talc and marble.

Under the Soviet Union the resources mined in Chorchana were processed in the village of Tsnelisi, Kareli municipality, which is now occupied by Russia.

The central Georgian government completed making a road to Chorchana in mid-August and opened a police checkpoint there.