TBILISI, DFWatch–The length of barbed wire and fences along the delineation line with the breakaway region South Ossetia is now 35 kilometers.
Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze says 65 Georgian families have been affected as result of the installation of barbed wire and fences. She says Russian forces since January 2013 have continued ‘intense illegal actions’ near Gori, Kareli, Kaspi and Akhalgori, installing fences and barbed wire.
“For the last months, this process has become even more active,” she said, adding that some of these 65 families had to leave their homes, which has created a new wave of IDPs.
The minister also said locals aren’t allowed to visit their cemetery, use agricultural lands, irrigation and drinking water, as well as emergency medical services.
Addressing the permanent council of the OSCE, Panjikidze called on Russia to stop the process of installing wire and fences and described the situation in the conflict zone.
She said Russia’s illegal actions are causing particular concern in her government when Moscow continues the consistent militarization of the occupied regions and doesn’t live up to its international obligation of not using force and doesn’t allow EU’s Monitoring Mission to study the situation, all the while continuing to block humanitarian assistance.
She said she thinks Russia’s actions are unimaginable in light of the positive dynamic that has been created in terms of economic and cultural relations and the constructive steps taken by the Georgian government.
“Even though Georgia had a good will with a goal to depoliticize the Olympic games and made a difficult decision about participation, Moscow tries to use this for political ends and opts for provocative actions,” she said, adding that Georgia remains committed to a peaceful approach and will not react to provocations.