Detentions, restrictions on free movement in Russia-occupied Georgian regions in focus of Geneva int’l talks

  • The Geneva International Discussions were launched in October 2008 to address the consequences of the Russia-Georgia war. Photo: Georgian Foreign Ministry press office, 13 Oct 2021 - 23:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

Ongoing detentions, unresolved cases of missing persons, restrictions on freedom of movement and travel abroad, response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and specific security concerns in Georgia's Russia-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) have been in focus of the 54th round of the Geneva International Discussions which took place on October 12 and 13.

The overall security situation on the ground was assessed as relatively stable, although participants brought attention to a number of outstanding issues”, Its co-chairs reported earlier today.

They also noted that the discussions ‘once again paid particular attention to the core agenda item of non-use of force and international security arrangements’.

The GID process continues to serve as the primary venue in which the consequences of conflict are addressed as mandated by the six-point ceasefire agreement of 2008”, the co-chairs said in a joint communique. 

They acknowledged the continued functioning of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Ergneti, including co-operative efforts over the summer on issues of water use, and emphasised the need to resume regular meetings of the Gali IPRM without further delay. 

The Georgian foreign ministry has meanwhile tweeted:

The co-chairs welcomed the lifting of restrictions at the Enguri bridge and Saberio-Pakhulani crossing points and called for freedom of movement to be fully restored, in particular at the Odzisi crossing point.

Despite constructive engagement on a variety of humanitarian issues, a discussion on the core issue of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees could not take place due to a walkout by some participants, which disrupted the round”, they announced. 

Theyagain called on all participants ‘to increase efforts to build trust and confidence among them and to address all elements of comprehensive security’.

The next meeting will be held in Geneva on December 7 and 8.

Georgia's first deputy minister of foreign affairs has also tweeted:

The Geneva International Discussions were launched in October 2008 to address the consequences of the Russia-Georgia war.

The format brings together the participants of the conflict - Russia, Georgia and de facto regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, as well as the United States.