News and Features

EUMM and Russia in dispute settlement mechanism talks

On 16 January, the Deputy Head of the European Monitoring Mission (EUMM), General Gilles Janvier, met with Colonel Tarassov of the Russian armed forces and the South Ossetian de facto-Minister for Information, Irene Gagloeva. The meeting took place at the South Ossetian administrative boundary line in Ergneti.

One of the main points of discussion was the situation in Perevi. Col. Tarassov claimed that the Russian checkpoint located at the entrance of the village was on South Ossetian territory. However, Russia had dismantled the checkpoint in mid-December 2008, thus admitting that the checkpoint was located on Georgian territory. Under strong protest from the international community, Russian soldiers re-manned the Perevi checkpoint after only one day. The EUMM delegation insisted again in today’s meeting on the withdrawal of the Russian checkpoint from Perevi in order to comply with the cease-fire agreements brokered by the French President Sarkozy after the August hostilities.

The Russian and South Ossetian sides expressed their concern about an increased number of Georgian special forces along the administrative boundary lines. In their view, this leads to increased tension which can easily erupt in violence.

Col. Tarassov demonstrated interest in a dispute settlement mechanism proposed by EUMM. The aim of this mechanism is a regular exchange of information between all sides on incidents that happen along the administrative boundary line.

EUMM insisted again that its patrols must be granted access to South Ossetia.

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