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South Ossetia, Georgia to continue talks regarding border situation

Last week, South Ossetia informed of illegal construction of a roadblock by Georgia on S.Ossetian territory, the republic demanded to remove the roadblock; but so far, Georgia has refused to do that

TSKHINVALI, September 2. /TASS/. South Ossetia and Georgia failed to come to an agreement regarding the situation with a Georgian roadblock on the South Ossetian border during today’s session of the talks, agreeing to continue the dialogue, representative of the South Ossetian president Murat Jioyev told reporters on Monday.

Last week, South Ossetia informed of illegal construction of a roadblock by Georgia on South Ossetian territory near the Uista settlement. The republic demanded Georgia to remove the roadblock; however, so far, Georgia has refused to do that. On August 30, the talks held within the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) failed to bring any results. The talks continued at the September 2 session.

"Today, we have held a meeting in the area of the state border. The meeting has lasted for about four hours. The main result of the meeting is that we have agreed to continue the dialogue," he said, adding that South Ossetia demands Georgia to remove the roadblock.

He noted that South Ossetia insists on holding a new round of talks as soon as possible, before the end of the week. However, this must be coordinated between all sides, which is the task of an EU observer mission sent to the area. According to the mission, the meeting will take place no later than in the middle of next week.

Jioyev stated that Georgia explains the roadblock "due to its political stance and is unwilling to remove the roadblock." "They claim that the roadblock presents no threat to anyone, that there will be 12-15 people stationed there. However, we think that this roadblock is located on the territory of South Ossetia illegally. We offer to remove the roadblock and create a safety zone between Tsnelisi and Chorchana - a Georgian settlement 4 kilometers away from the roadblock, so that there would be no armed posts belonging to any side. Then we will discuss the state border line in the area," Jioyev explained.

He added that the sides also discussed the South Ossetian drone downed on September 1, however, South Ossetia "did not receive a clear explanation."

Situation in South Ossetia

Currently, South Ossetia and Georgia hold talks within the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), which was established in the wake of the 2008 armed conflict. So far, the sides have failed to reach an agreement.

South Ossetian leader Anatoly Bibilov tasked South Ossetian servicemen to deploy additional posts in the border zone near the village of Uista. Armored vehicles have been conducting regular patrol missions along the frontier. South Ossetia also established its own roadblocks in the area. The only demand of the South Ossetian side is to remove the Georgian roadblock from the area.

Bibilov, who has already visited the region twice, assured local residents that they were safe and ruled out the possibility of any military confrontation with Georgia.