October 5 saw this year’s first round of the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia. Delegations from the Republic of South Ossetia, the Republic of Abkhazia, Georgia, the Russian Federation, the United States, as well as representatives of the EU, UN and OSCE participated in work of the Discussions. Konstantin Kochiev, State Adviser to the President of the Republic of South Ossetia, headed the South Ossetian delegation. The Discussions were held in two working groups – on security and humanitarian issues.
It was marked that since the GID remains the unique platform for discussing arising challenges and threats demanding attention, long-term freeze could negatively affect the stability and security in the region.
Current issues related to maintaining regional security and stability at the state border between South Ossetia and Georgia were discussed in detail by members of the first working group. The South Ossetian delegates drew attention of the participants to the fact of ongoing provocations, organized by the Georgian side at the border zone, the facts of intentional violations of the state border regime and the necessity to continue demarcation of the state border with engineering constructions, since it has been a real factor of reducing similar violations. At the same time the South Ossetian delegation reiterated its proposal to the Georgian side to get to joint bilateral work on delimitation and demarcation of the state border between the Republic of South Ossetia and Georgia.
The South Ossetian, the Abkhaz and the Russian participants have once again drawn attention to the urgent need to elaborate guarantees of non-use of military force of Georgia against South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It was emphasized that the South Ossetian delegation saw such a document as an important and essential step towards providing firm guarantees to South Ossetia against threats from Georgia and strengthening the existing architecture of regional security.
The South Ossetian delegation expressed serious concern about NATO enlargement in the territory of Georgia and the on-going build-up of Georgian potential that could again inspire the Georgian leadership to take steps fraught with unpredictable consequences. It was marked that military exercises with participation of NATO contingents in close vicinity with the state border of South Ossetia were a factor of threat to regional stability and security.
The effectiveness and utility of further work of the IPRM, operating in framework of the GID, as an important factor of maintaining security and stability at the South Ossetian-Georgian border, was emphasized at the meeting. The efficiency of the operation of the “hot line” under the IPRM was marked as well.
Humanitarian issues were discussed in the second working group. As an important component of the overall security and humanitarian situation, issues related to the search for citizens of the Republic of South Ossetia abducted by Georgian law enforcement agencies and missing on the territory of Georgia, were discussed.
Once again the most serious attention was drawn to the gross violations by Georgia of the rights of the Ossetians - natives of the Kazbeg region (Tyrsygom), who for several years have not been able to gain access to their ancestral villages.
Discussion on the problem of refugees was not held at the completed round. The resumption of discussions on the topic of refugees will be possible if Georgia stops the ongoing artificial politicization of this problem.
Geneva, 6 October 2022