Residents of Georgia’s Russian-occupied Akhalgori district have to receive Ossetian passports in order to get pensions, reports the Democracy Research Institute (DRI) NGO.
Several pensioners have already been granted Ossetian citizenship under a simplified procedure in Akhalgori district.
Due to the closed borders between Akhalgori and the rest of Georgia, people living in the region are not able to enter Tbilisi-controlled territory.
Georgian citizens living in Russian-occupied territories have been faced with a difficult choice. They have to give up Georgian citizenship in order to have elementary conditions for living. Their choice of getting Ossetian passports was preceded by a less effective policy of the Georgian government, which failed to provide assistance to one of the most vulnerable groups – retirees living in the occupied territories”, reads the official statement of DRI.
DRI has called upon the Georgian government to develop a new state programme of different financial assistance for each pensioner living in the occupied territories.
Russian-controlled Tskhinvali closed the last, Kartsmani crossing point in Sachkhere municipality, connecting the region with the rest of Georgia ‘to prevent the spread of coronavirus’ on February 27, 2020.
The de facto authorities closed Razdakhani and Sinaguri crossing points in early September of 2019, creating a severe humanitarian situation on the ground.