EUMM head to Georgia Erik Hoeg says that the 7th special meeting in Ergneti, which was dedicated to easing tension at the villages of Tsnelisi and Chorchana, has ended without substantial progress.
The Georgian State Security Service has reported that the Russian-controlled de facto government of Tskhinvali still continues to demand the removal of an ordinary police post from the village of Chorchana, Khashuri municipality, which is located on the Tbilisi-controlled territory.
The de facto authorities say that the crossing points to the region, which has been closed since September 4, will reopen when the police post is removed, as the post “creates threats to locals and is too close to the village of Tsnelisi [which is under Russian-control].”
7th technical meeting in IPRM format regarding situation in Tsnelisi-Chorchana just ended. #EUMM presented overview of developments based on its 24/7 patrolling. No substantial progress. Participants committed to continue discussions on how to de-escalate further, however. pic.twitter.com/GmCJrErekA— Erik Hoeg (@erik_hoeg) November 12, 2019
We have also raised the recent illegal detention of two Georgian citizens by occupation forces. We were told that they have been detained for so-called illegally crossing the border and that their trial is being held in Tskhinvali now,” the Georgian State Security official Irakli Antadze said, adding that the individuals are safe.
Tension on the ground started at the end of August when Tbilisi opened a police post in the village of Chorchana.
Tskhinvali demanded the removal of the post shortly, saying at the time it “posed threats to our security.”
Tbilisi refused to do so and the occupying forces opened two new “police posts” at the village of Chorchana, on Tbilisi-administered territory and also closed so-called checkpoints.
Residents of the Chorchana village reported earlier this year that they saw trees marked in yellow in the Chorchana forest, which contains ores of talc and marble.
They said that the occupation forces could be interested in the forest and the mines.
To prevent incidents or the creeping occupation Tbilisi opened a police post in the village of Chorchana in August, bordering Tsnelisi village which is now under Russian control.