EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell says that the death of 70-year-old Margo Martiashvili, who suffered a stroke in the Russian-occupied Akhalgori district and was unable to be transported to the Tbilisi-administered territory because of the closed “checkpoints” with Tskhinvali, is “tragic, and we are doing our best for the crossing points to be reopened.”
He said that the closure of the so-called border, starting from September 4, creates a severe humanitarian situation on the ground.
I am very sorry for the death, which was tragic. We are doing our best the crossing points, which have been closed for two months, to be reopened,” Hartzell said.
The European Union Monitoring mission (EUMM), which is the only international mission observing the situation at the occupation lines, has stated that “such tragic instances show the potential impact of the severe restrictions in place on the freedom of movement for the local population in Akhalgori.”
Martiashvili died in Tskhinvali hospital on October 28 as her relatives were unable to transport her to the Tbilisi-controlled territory via the shortest, so-called Razdakhani crossing point, due to its closure.
De facto Tskhinvali government says that they will reopen the crossing points as soon as Tbilisi removes the police post from the village of Chorchana, Khashuri municipality, which is located on the Tbilisi-controlled territory.
After the Russia-Georgia 2008 War patients from the Russian-occupied region have been transported to Tbilisi-controlled territory via the Razdakhani crossing point with the help of the Red Cross.
However, due to the closure of the so-called border since September of this year it has been impossible to use the route for medical purposes, and people living in Akhalgori are forced to wait for emergency brigades from Tskhinvali, which take longer than an hour to arrive.