james appathurai

NATO envoy James Appathurai says construction of fences that restrict the movement of locals in the border zone is a violation of the 2008 cease-fire agreement. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–NATO is concerned about illegal separating constructions in the conflict zone, says the alliance’s Caucasus and Central Asia envoy James Appathurai.

Last week, Russian soldiers moved the so-called administrative border 300 meters on a point south west along the perimeter of the Russian-controlled breakaway region South Ossetia. Georgia has sent a diplomatic note of protest to Russia, which didn’t respond, but the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Russia said that this was a Kremlin decision.

NATO shares the same position as the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) to Georgia and the US, James Appathurai, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, said on Monday.

He added that illegal separating constructions restrict the movements of the population and is a violation of the ceasefire agreement signed by Russia and Georgia in August 2008.

Appathurai remarked that Georgia is a country, which has high support from NATO regardless of who heads the government. His current visit to Georgia is a good opportunity to speak about the alliance, but also to continue preparations for a visit here by the North Atlantic Council in three weeks.

The NATO envoy has met with the Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament and members of the United National Movement party.

At a press conference after Monday’s meetings he emphasized the importance of statements by the prime minister and government officials that ongoing trials will be free of political persecutions, as otherwise it would be harmful for Georgia.