TSKHINVAL, October 17. /TASS/. Georgia has been stepping up its military presence near the South Ossetian village of Uista (Tsnelis), which made headlines last month due to the construction of a Georgian roadblock there, the press service of South Ossetia’s state security service KGB said on Thursday.
KGB said its officers detected and documented the Georgian side’s illegal activities to fuel tensions in the sector of the Georgian-South Ossetian state border.
"Instead of halting its illegal construction works, withdrawing its armed groups and de-escalating tensions, the Georgian side continues to systematically beefing up its military presence in South Ossetia’s border zone. Therefore, it creates additional security threats, first of all for the local South Ossetian population and Georgian officers who are stationed in South Ossetian border guard forces’ areas of direct influence," KGB said.
According to South Ossetia’s security agency, the Georgian side continues to reinforce the roadblock, which is now guarded by Georgian security officers.
"For example, additional special units of the Georgian Interior Ministry comprising in total up to 20 officers armed with small arms, were deployed to the village of Kobi of the Khashur district this week," the agency said. "Road-building equipmenet is seen in moving in the area, round-the-clock construction works are under way, Georgian police officers regularly make photo and video records of the South Ossetian territory," it said.
"The Georgian side has been deliberately misinforming its population, imposing the opinion that the Georgian roadblock is located near the village of Chorchana in the Khashur municipality, while in reality the village of Chorchana is 3 km away from the area. In reality, the roadblock literally overhangs South Ossetia’s village of Uista, which is 200-300 meters away," the agency added.
South Ossetia informed the European Union observer mission about the Georgian side’s actions via the hotline of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM).
The tensions on the border between Georgian and its former republic of South Ossetia were sparked by Georgia’s construction of a checkpoint near the South Ossetian border village of Uista (Tsnelis). South Ossetia demanded the checkpoint be removed from its territory. The August 29 settlement talks within the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) yielded no result. In early September, South Ossetia installed own checkpoints near the village and beefed up presence near the border. Later, Tskhinval claimed that Tbilisi had plans to erect more checkpoints in other border zones, as more Georgian troops and hardware were spotted in some areas.
On September 5, it was reported South Ossetia’s forces moved onto an elevated area near Uista and raised the country’s flag at the westernmost point of the border.
On September 12, the South Ossetian State Security Committee said the Georgian side was stepping up its military presence on the border with South Ossetia and building new checkpoints. According to the committee, preparatory works are being carried out near the border villages of Grom in the Tskhinvali district of South Ossetia, and Khurvaleti in the Gori Municipality to establish additional observation checkpoints, and the number of Georgian military personnel and special equipment increased in the border communities of Adzvi, Adzvistavi and Akhalubani of the Gori Municipality.