De facto Tskhinvali temporarily opens Akhalgori crossing point for pensioners

  • De facto authorities of Tskhinvali closed the crossing point in early September 2019. Photo: Tamar Mearakishvili., 24 Jan 2020 - 11:55, Tbilisi,Georgia

De facto authorities of Georgia’s Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region has temporarily opened a crossing point between occupied Akhalgori district and the rest of Georgia for pensioners only, after an almost five-month closure, which has created a severe humanitarian situation on the ground.

Local civic activist Tamar Mearakishvili reports that the crossing point opened earlier today for pensioners “whose only income is a pension issued by the central government” of Georgia.

This is a temporary measure and the pensioners have several days to come back to the district,” Mearakishvili said, adding that the crossing point is likely to be temporarily opened again for pensioners in two months.

Radio Liberty reports that people in need of urgent medical care have also been allowed to temporarily leave the district. 

Mearakishvili wrote earlier this month that almost ten people have died in the region due to the illegal closure of the crossing point and delayed medical care.

Locals say that they face severe problems due to the illegal closure of crossing points with the rest of Georgia. Photo: Nino Alavidze/ 

She said that she misses her only daughter, who is on Tbilisi-controlled territory.

De facto authorities of Tskhinvali closed crossing points with the rest of Georgia on September 4, 2019, shortly after the central Georgian government opened a police post in the village of Chorchana, Khashuri municipality, on the Tbilisi-controlled territory at the end of August 2019.

Tskhinvali says that the police post “is too close to South Ossetia, creating security threats for our population,” demanding its removal.

De facto president of Tskhinvali said in early January 2020 that the crossing points will reopen only after Tbilisi removes the police post. The crossing points have deprived locals of the right to movement to other areas of the country, to receive needed medical care or buy vitally important everyday items.