The Georgian Defense Ministry and EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) signed a memorandum on January 26 stipulating “certain restrictions” to the movements of the Georgian armed forces in the vicinity of the Abkhaz and South Ossetian administrative borders, EUMM said.
The memorandum of understanding, signed by Defense Minister, Davit Sikharulidze and EUMM head, Hansjörg Haber, also stipulates the Georgian MoD to give advance information to EUMM.
“[The memorandum] contributes to the implementation of Point one of the [August 12] Six-Point-Plan [ceasefire accord], which demands that there shall be no recourse to force,” EUMM said in a statement.
The Head of EUMM, Hansjörg Haber, said commitment that its military forces would operate transparently and predictably, “the Georgian government makes a brave and unilateral move to de-escalate and forestall tensions along the administrative boundary lines.”
“As long as this agreement is in force, EUMM will be able to issue, as it were, a clean bill of health to the effect that Georgia will not be able to assemble a force with sufficient escalation potential to militarily challenge the administrative boundary lines,” Haber said.
He also said that Russia should also follow this principle of transparency.
“If Russia decides to reciprocate this agreement, I am sure that even more security and stability is possible along the administrative boundary lines. Russia should provide clarity about the total number of its forces within Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And it should thin out its forces in the immediate vicinity of the administrative boundary lines,” Haber said.
The head of the EUMM said that the memorandum no way meant “a diplomatic recognition of the status quo.” “The position of Georgia on this question is well known and so is the position of the EU,” he added.