On 8 October, the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) witnessed
the withdrawal of Russian troops from a great number of checkpoints in the
adjacent areas both to South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The Head of Mission, Ambassador Hansjörg Haber, said during a visit to the
Zugdidi field office:
“I have been at the Iguri bridge to verify the withdrawal with my own eyes.
There are reports from our monitors that checkpoints have been lifted
throughout the adjacent areas. This is a very positive development.
According to the information EUMM has at this moment, Russia seems to
have completed most of the withdrawal. However, EUMM observers are
still on the ground to verify.”
With the Russian withdrawal, responsibility for the enforcement of law and
order in the adjacent areas falls to the Georgian authorities.
“We will also monitor the movement of Georgian law enforcement agencies
which will ensure security on the ground and allow people to resume
normal everyday life,” explained Ambassador Haber.
According to Ambassador Haber, the Russian withdrawal is only the first
part of EUMM's work in Georgia.
“Our work will now be centered around confidence building on the two
sides of the administrative boundary,” added Ambassador Haber.