EU Monitoring Mission has called on all parties to steer clear of provocations after a shot was fired by South Ossetian militias as Georgian police vehicle appeared at their post at the breakaway region’s administrative border between the villages of Kveshi and Artsevi in south-east from Tskhinvali on August 10.
“At approximately 11.00am, an EUMM patrol was conducting routine monitoring activities near Kveshi [on the Georgian-administered side of the administrative border]. A shot was fired from the other side of the Administrative Boundary Line, after a Georgian police vehicle appeared and turned around in front of the barrier operated by South Ossetian armed personnel. Nobody was injured. Both the EUMM patrol and the Georgian police withdrew from the spot,” EUMM said in a press release.
“On the same day, after activation of the Hotline a constructive ad-hoc meeting was convened in Kveshi with representatives of the Georgian Police, South Ossetian de facto Border Guard Services, the Russian Federation Border Guards and EUMM. All sides agreed to avoid actions that may contribute to destabilizing the situation.”
“On the anniversary of the 2008 war, the EU Monitoring Mission takes the opportunity to call on all parties to show utmost restraint and to steer clear of provocations,” EUMM said.
Authorities in Tskhinvali said their armed personnel fired a warning shot into the air after a Georgian police vehicle “crossed into the state border and moved deeper into the South Ossetian territory.”
“In order to prevent such incidents in the future, Georgia should respond to South Ossetian proposal to define border on the ground,” the state security service of the breakaway region said.
The Georgian Interior Ministry said that one shot was fired “in direction” of the Georgian police vehicle, which was “moving on the Georgian-controlled territory”.
“The Georgian Interior Ministry strongly condemns this provocative action and calls on all the parties involved in the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism to investigate this incident thoroughly,” it said.