TBILISI, DFWatch–NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton express concern about the recent actions by Russian soldiers who are expanding the de facto border around the breakaway region South Ossetia and installing barbed wire.
“I note with concern the Russian Federation’s continued activity in erecting fences and other obstacles along administrative boundary lines within Georgia. This is in contradiction with Russia’s international commitments and does not contribute to a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Fogh Rasmussen’s statement reads.
The statement says that these actions are having a negative impact on the situation on the ground, and affects the lives of those citizens of Georgia who live on either side of the administrative boundary lines.
“I call for the removal of these barriers. NATO’s position is very clear. As stated at the Chicago summit, NATO supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders,” it continues. “We call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia as independent states.”
Earlier on Wednesday EU’s foreign policy spokesperson Catherine Ashton also issued a statement about the situation at the Russian-enforced border line.
“Such activities – which contravene Georgia’s territorial integrity – create significant hardship for residents on either side of the administrative boundary lines and seriously challenge stability and security in these regions,” Ashton writes. “The High Representative calls on the Russian Federation to ensure that these barriers are removed. She recalls the European Union’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.”