U.S. Embassy In Tbilisi Troubled By Reports Of ‘Borderization’ Activity On South Ossetia Boundary Line

The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi on April 17 said it was “deeply troubled” by reports that Russian-led “security actors” have resumed “borderization” activities along the administrative boundary line of the Georgian-breakaway region of South Ossetia.

A statement from the embassy said the activities were reported near the village of Takhtisdziri.

“We condemn any actions by the de facto authorities in Tskhinvali that aggravate tensions and distract from urgent efforts to safeguard the lives and health of the affected populations, particularly during the Orthodox Easter weekend and against the backdrop of the global pandemic crisis,” the statement said.

The embassy called for an immediate halt to the construction of any signs, structures, fencing, or barriers intended to strengthen or expand the “borderization” of the administrative boundary line.

The United States has previously expressed concern over reports that Russian-backed authorities in the breakaway region were erecting structures near the administrative boundary line and called for a halt to the construction.

U.S.State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in August that the process of borderization “indiscriminately and disproportionately affects civilians living in the area, separating them from their farmlands, family, livelihoods, and critical infrastructure.”

Only a handful of countries have recognized the independence of South Ossetia and another breakaway region, Abkhazia, which together comprise around 20 percent of Georgian territory, and Moscow’s backing of the regions has drawn broad international condemnation.

The statement issued on April 17 by the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi again called on Russia to end its occupation of the territories. Russia has maintained troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia since a five-day war in August 2008 between Russia and Georgia.

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