Moscow warns against Tbilisi’s "peace march" plan

MOSCOW, August 23 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that the Georgian authorities are planning to carry out a large-scale provocation in connection with the 3rd anniversary of Russia’s recognition of the independence of South Ossetia, marked on August 26.

“A ‘peace march’ is being prepared from the Georgian settlement of Odzisi to the border post on the road to Leningori, a town in South Ossetia,” the Ministry said in a press release, adding that Tbilisi intends to enlist up to 3,000 dwellers of the refugee camp in the village of Tserovani, and settlers from the Chechen republic who live in Georgia’s Akhmetsky district. The scenario of the action envisions an attempt of mass illegal invasion into South Ossetia under the slogan to return refugees to their native homes.

“According to the available information, recruiting of ‘the peace march’ participants was arranged within the scope of scheduled re-registration of refuges by the Georgian Ministry for Refugees and Settlement. The authorities broadly use the methods of pressure and threats. In a number of cases, citizens are forced to give written pledges to participate in the ‘peace march’.

“Tbilisi’s new irresponsible provocative idea is extremely dangerous. It is fraught with unsettling the already fragile situation in the region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry warned.

“The cynicism of the ‘peace march’ masterminds is amazing; it confirms that the fates of the refugees Tbilisi is allegedly so anxious about are no more than a token in their political games.

“We resolutely warn the Georgian side against the attempt at new adventurism in the region. We are hoping that similar unequivocal signals will come to Tbilisi from other members of the international community,” Moscow said.

South Ossetia’s envoy for post-conflict settlement Boris Chochiyev already forwarded a letter to head of the EU observer mission in Georgia Andrzej Tyszkiewicz in connection with the large provocation Tbilisi is preparing on the South Ossetian-Georgian state border.

He urged the EU observers to check the information submitted by South Ossetia and take measures to prevent the new provocation by Tbilisi.

“On behalf of South Ossetia, a participant in Geneva discussions, we inform you that according to the information coming to us, ‘peaceful rallies’ are scheduled to take place in a number of places in the Georgian territory adjacent to the state border with the Republic of South Ossetia in late August, 2011 [supposedly on August 26], at the instigation of the Georgian authorities and involving former South Ossetia residents,” the letter said.

Taking the above facts into account, South Ossetia states that in the event the provocation is carried out, the border situation will worsen dramatically, “as we’ll have to take all measures to prevent unsanctioned border crossing; so Georgia will bear full responsibility for the consequences.”

The letter noted that partial responsibility should be borne by the EU observers in Georgia in this event.

On Monday, South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity conferred with senior law-enforcement officials over public security during the festivities marking the third anniversary of Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia’s independence and state sovereignty.


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