Georgian gov’t calls upon Russia, de facto authorities to reopen so-called borders

Woman standing in front of the main crossing point at the village of Odzisi which has been closed for the seventh consecutive day. Photo: EUMM Georgia., 18 Jan 2019 - 17:54, Tbilisi,Georgia

The central Georgian government has called upon Russia and the de facto leaderships of the two Georgian occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) to reopen so-called borders with the rest of Georgia, which were closed on 11 January “to avoid the spread of swine flu.”

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has condemned the step and stated today that the international community and co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions [on Georgian conflict issues] have been informed regarding the closure.

This is a humanitarian issue which restricts a fundamental human right -freedom of movement,” Zalkaliani said.

We are also concerned by the decision of the Russian occupation regime in Tskhinvali to enact new discriminative measures for the residents of the occupied Akhalgori district from February 2019, referring to providing additional movement restrictions for ethnic Georgian population.

Georgian Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili says that the step by the de facto leaderships “leaves many of locals without their daily bread.”

Locals are deprived of the right to buy food and things they need on a daily basis,” Tsikhelashvili said.