razor wire

This is the kind of razor wire being erected by Russian soldiers in the Georgian-controlled village Ditsi. (Radio Liberty.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Russian Federation has not yet reacted to a diplomatic note of protest from Georgia regarding the moving of the so-called administrative border into Georgian-controlled territory near breakaway South Ossetia.

But the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Russia told media that the actions by the Russian border soldiers was agreed with the government of Russia.

“Everything that is done by Russian border guards on the territory of South Ossetia, is a direct reflection of the authorities of this country,” Grigory Karasin, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister told Ria Novosti.

Karasin is Russia’s representative in talks with the Georgian prime minister’s special representative for Russian relations Zurab Abashidze.

It was first reported on Monday that Russian soldiers had moved the so-called administrative border 300 meters further into Georgian-controlled territory close to the villages Ditsi and Dvani, which lie in a hilly area south west of Tskhinvali.

The government raised the alarm with the international community, while the EU’s monitoring mission (EUMM) said in a statement that Russia is violating the ceasefire agreement of August, 2008.

Despite this, representatives of the Russian army strengthened their patrolling of the perimeter of the de facto border on Thursday and soldiers continue to install border buildings.

Rostom Sosiashvili, a local of Ditsi village who was detained two days ago, remains in preliminary detention in Tskhinvali, but no-one has yet contacted his family and relatives, who claim that Sosiashvili suffers from tuberculosis.

According to Georgian journalists, he was taken by Russian soldiers while trying to warn two youth who were out cattle herding that two Russian soldiers were coming closer. The youth ran away to the village, while he was put in a car and taken in the direction of Tskhinvali.

Relatives say they do not know where Sosiashvili is. Georgian police claim they have started taking measures to find and release him.

Locals believe that from how the Russian soldiers have measured the area, three houses will end up beyond the border if the process is completed.

“We don’t have a right to go to our cemetery,” Ilia Beruashvili told journalists. “If they really come to continue moving the border I will run into their cars and let the world know that they are occupants,” he continued.

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said Thursday in a TV interview that he expects the situation to be more clarified at the next meeting between Abashidze and Karasin in the beginning of June.

However, Karasin has told Russian media that the border-moving will not be a topic at their next meeting, and that it only will be about economic issues.

Also on Thursday, the PM told journalists that Georgia may increase the number of police in Ditsi and ask for an increased number of international observers.

“We request to increase the number of observers, and we have also discussed this issue at a government session. We also do not rule out increasing the number of police, if this won’t cause dissatisfaction in the international community,” he said, adding that this issue will be agreed with them.

The PM says now patience is necessary and all will get in order.