A joint patrol of the UN observers and Russian peacekeepers found the presence of 550 personnel from the Georgian Interior Ministry in the Tbilisi-controlled upper Kodori Gorge as a result of monitoring carried out on October 12.
The presence of police forces in upper Kodori Gorge is technically not a violation of the 1994 Moscow cease-fire agreement, which bans the deployment of army troops in the area.
The UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) said on October 13 that monitoring has also revealed the presence of mortars and an anti-aircraft gun in the gorge, which, according to the Georgian side, was seized from the local militia group in an operation carried out in late July.
UNOMIG added that the joint monitoring “covered a substantial area," but not all, of Upper Kodori.
“Monitoring of the upper Kodori Gorge by a joint patrol of UN observers and Russian peacekeepers was carried out on October 12,” the UNOMIG said in a statement.
“If the monitoring continues, the peace talks that are currently suspended will be resumed between the Georgian and Abkhaz sides,” Sergey Chaban, Commander of the Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia, said on October 13 at a regular weekly quadripartite meeting in Chuburkhinji village of Gali district in breakaway Abkhazia.
Initially Georgia was against the involvement of Russian peacekeepers in the monitoring process, but Tbilisi later gave up its hard-line stance.