Statement by the South Ossetian delegation to mass media about the results of the 59th round of the GID on Security in Transcaucasia

On 5-6 November, 2023, a recurrent round of International Discussions on Security in Transcaucasia was held in Geneva. Delegations from the Republic of South Ossetia, the Republic of Abkhazia, Georgia, the Russian Federation, the USA and representatives from the EU, UN, and OSCE participated in the meeting. The South Ossetian delegation was led by State Counselor to the President K. K. Kochiev.

The meeting’s participants spoke up general opinion about the significance of the Geneva format that became an important factor of stability during its existence as a conversational place for regional security problems discussion.

There were 2 working groups: on security and on humanitarian issues.

The main attention in the first group was devoted to the discussion about the current issues of regional security. The situation at the state border between South Ossetia and Georgia was characterized as comparatively stable with single elements of intensity.

The South Ossetian delegation called participant’s attention to the continuing provocations from the Georgian side, intentional violation of the state border facts and to the importance of marking the state border lines to prevent unintentional violations. The South Ossetian delegation once again suggested to the Georgian party to start joint activities on delimitation and demarcation of the state border between the Republic of South Ossetia and Georgia.

A special attention was paid to the continuing deepening of the military-political cooperation between Georgia and NATO and the increasing presence of North Atlantic Alliance on the neighboring state territory, which is assessed as a severe challenge of regional stability and a menace to safety of South Ossetia.

The participants of the meeting characterized the situation with the work on the draft document on commitment to the principle of non-use of force as deadlocked, but the South Ossetian participants called for continued discussion of this key area.

Once again was noticed the effectiveness and expediency continuation of the work in the South-Ossetian-Georgian border area of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, created in the Geneva discussion format and valid “hot line”.

During the second group’s work, despite the extremely destructive position of the Georgian participants and rough attacks on the Ossetian, the Russian and the Abkhazian sides, the South Ossetian delegation raised several important humanitarian questions, and the principal issue was about the missing citizens of South Ossetia. South Ossetian participants marked that the current Georgian authorities’ assurances about responsible attitude toward missing citizens had no effect on the results. It was also noted that progress in this direction could become an important element in building confidence between neighboring states and would have a positive impact at the atmosphere of the Geneva discussions.

Attention was once again drawn to gross violations by Georgia of rights of the Ossetians from the Kazbeg region (Tyrsygom), who are barred of access to their ancestral villages over the last years.

The parties exchanged opinion on a number of other humanitarian issues.

The discussion on the problems of refugees was not held at the round. Resumption of discussions on this issue will become possible after Georgia stops the attempts to artificially politicize the issue.

The next round of the discussion is scheduled for April 2024.

December 7, Geneva 2023