An agreement on agricultural work safety has been reached at the meeting in Ergneti

Wed, 22/02/2012 - 12:00

The 20th meeting of the participants of Mechanisms on prevention and reaction to incidents (MPRI) has been held today in the Georgian village of Ergneti, bordering with South Ossetia.
South Ossetian side was represented by Deputy Presidential Envoy on post-conflict settlement in South Ossetia Merab Chigoev. The talks were also attended by representatives of Russia, Georgia, the EU and the OSCE. The meeting was held behind closed doors.

As it was stated after the meeting by representatives of South Ossetia and Georgia, the meeting had been held in a constructive atmosphere. According to the Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili, the participants of the MPRI meetings do not solve the fundamental issues, but they play an important role in stabilizing the situation in the border areas of South Ossetia and Georgia. "The situation has become much calmer. We have not heard for a long time that someone died, was injured or killed. It is very important. The number of detainees has been reduced considerably. I am not aware of the exact contribution of our meetings, but they still help stabilizing the situation "- he underlined. Utiashvili said that one should not have the illusion that the MPRI could solve some important issues. In turn, the head of the South Ossetian delegation Merab Chigoev reported that eight questions had been included in the agenda; most of them were put on by the South Ossetian side. "We are trying to help people who live on both sides of the state border. It is very important, "- he said. According to him, during the meeting it was noted that the number of violations at the state border had been reduced. "But there is a tendency for the fact that violations of the state border are not more accidental, but deliberate. And it cannot but cause concern. For example, six Georgian citizens crossed the border and were detained in the territory of South Ossetia. One of them said that he had intentionally crossed the border in order to avoid punishment for a crime committed in Georgia. The other five people have also declared about their intentional crossing of the border in order to cut down trees in our territory, as they have not another opportunity to provide their homes with heating, "- said Chigoev. He noted that the Georgian participants of the meeting and the EU observers had faced the question of need for preventive efforts to stop or minimize the number of violations. "If people today are forced to break the boundary by reason of economic and domestic issues, the causes tomorrow may be more considerable. These six people passed under the noses of the EU observers, who had let them pass freely. I think it was the fault of the observers and the Georgian side ", - assured Chigoev. He has also informed journalists that the question of fate of the missing citizens of South Ossetia was also raised at the meeting.
Chigoev reminded that Tamaz Kabisov is listed the missing since August 8, 2008 at the height of war.
"Today, we have been given the inquiry answer, and it is so fantastic that only a very naive person would believe it. It says that at the height of war Kabisov in the village of Nikozi, which at that time was overfilled with the Georgian troops, was walking calmly along the country road. Local residents called in Gori, then the police arrived with the Ossetian interpreter, and after that, allegedly, Kabisov was arrested and sent to Gori. They scolded him a little, and on the same day, allegedly, he was released and asked to come in three days, to be judged. This is so fantastic that, in my opinion, they, themselves, felt uneasy to tell about it. If Mr. Utiashvili had not been on the cops, he would have blushed "- Chigoev has stressed. In addition, according to Chigoev, the South Ossetian side has also appealed today to the Georgian authorities to replace the life sentence to three citizens of South Ossetia for a fixed term sentence. "Several years ago three of our citizens were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court of Georgia, allegedly, for committing a terrorist act in Gori. We have stated that we are not participating in the discussion of this sentence, because we do not know its content, but we consider it illegal. Unfortunately, the Georgian colleagues have not responded to our appeal, stating that they will apply on this occasion neither to the president nor to the Supreme Court. Such actions promote the trust between nations, but unfortunately, the Georgian side did not respond to our call. I am extremely disappointed with such attitude, "- said Merab Chigoev. He also noted that it had been concluded an agreement on more effective reaction to security threat during the agricultural works in the areas adjacent to the state border by creating a mobile group. In addition, Chigoev has said that the reasons that had previously prevented holding of the meetings in Ergneti were eliminated, and in the future the meetings in this format will be held here. Earlier, due to the fact that the Georgian side announced Ergneti the zone of NATO, the South Ossetian side has refused to participate in negotiations in this village. It was agreed that further meetings would be held in Dvani.
MPRI has been functioning in accordance with the agreement reached at the Geneva talks in February 2009.

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