The third set of preparatory talks about the South Ossetian theatre under the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) took place in Dvani on Friday 14 August. Representatives from the Georgian Government, the Russian and de facto South Ossetian authorities and the OSCE were present. The EUMM acted as facilitator.
Head of the EUMM Ambassador Haber commented after the discussions:
“The meeting took place in a very positive atmosphere. All participants were very constructive, without of course renouncing their prescribed positions. We discussed a number of incidents that took place in the broad context of last week’s anniversary – incidents at the administrative boundary line (ABL) including here at Dvani.
We also discussed cases of alleged detention and kidnapping across the ABL – and we talked about a few cases where shepherds and farmers have been detained. There was a common spirit to treat these particular cases pragmatically; not to detain these people but to turn them back. I hope this will materialise in the weeks to come.
We also discussed the overall security situation and the function of the hotline. As far as the security situation went, all participants thought the position was pretty good – we can of course do more to reduce the nightly reports of shootings but the common view was that there were no major incidents which were intended to escalate the situation. The last two weeks have passed much calmer on the ground than was visible from statements to the media.
So the meeting went well. We agreed that procedural issues were a matter for Geneva. And we agreed the date of the next meeting on the 3 September.