In a tough-worded statement issued on October 3 the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the Georgian side of carrying out a mortar attack on the breakaway South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali on September 20 and slammed the Georgian Parliament’s plan to consider a resolution against the Russian peacekeepers in the conflict zone as “a provocation.”
“The situation in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone has been drastically aggravated after the mortar shelling of Tskhinvali on September 20. Mortar fire was opened, according to specialists, from the Georgian territory,” the statement reads.
“The [volatile] political atmosphere has also been [given fuel]. Georgian propaganda, [perpetuated by Georgian] officials, has chosen Russia, Russian peacekeepers and the entire mechanism of the peaceful resolution in frames of the Joint Control Commission (JCC) as targets of its attacks,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.
The statement also reads that the Russian Foreign Ministry dispatched special envoy Valery Kenyaikin, who carried out shuttle diplomacy between Tbilisi and Tskhinvali on September 22-23, in an attempt to defuse tensions.
“He [Valery Kenyaikin] met with President of South Ossetian Eduard Kokoity… But the suggestions which were weighed by Tskhinvali over normalizing the situation were rejected by Tbilisi, where the temperature of anti-Russian and anti-Ossetian rhetoric has increased. It is clear that, because of provocative reasons, the Georgian Parliament prepares for the destructive consideration of the issue on thwarting the negotiating format, stopping the JCC and JPKF’s work [Joint Peacekeeping Forces stationed in the South Ossetian conflict zone],” the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.
Georgian Parliament plans to pass resolution setting performance deadline to the Russian peacekeepers stationed in the Abkhazia and South Ossetian conflict zones next week.