Tbilisi, 29 April 2021 – The Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis, visited today parts of the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) with South Ossetia, with the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM).
The EUMM Head of Mission, Ambassador Marek Szczygieł, welcomed the Minister in the village of Mukhrani and further proceeded with the visitors on a field visit to the Odzisi area, including the Odzisi controlled crossing point, which has now been closed for over 600 days.
During the visit, the Head of Mission offered his insights on the most recent security developments on the ground. In particular, he stressed the negative impact that ‘borderisation’ features, such as wire fences, have on the freedom of movement and other human rights of the conflict-affected communities, as well as on their humanitarian needs.
When discussing the protracted closure of the Odzisi controlled crossing point, the Head of Mission also emphasised what it means for local populations in terms of lack of access to education or adequate medical care. EUMM Monitors further highlighted that the challenges faced by local communities living on both sides of the ABL have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The visit and exchanges with EUMM monitors allowed the Foreign Minister to gain a first-hand impression of the situation at the ABL and of the Mission’s contribution to stability on the ground.
The Minister underlined the importance of the Missions role in enhancing security and stability on the ground, and in the region, and expressed his gratitude for the informative field visit.
The last high-level Lithuanian visit to EUMM took place in 2018 when the then Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis visited the Odzisi area.