The installation of new demarcation signposts along the administrative boundary line of breakaway South Ossetia has “led to tension in the area, with potentially negative effects on the local population, their livelihood and freedom of movement,” spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement on July 15.
Tbilisi said that on July 10 border marking banners were placed by the Russian troops in breakaway South Ossetia close to Georgia’s major east-west highway, leaving 1,605-meter portion of the BP-operated Baku-Supsa oil pipeline in the area outside Georgia’s control.
“Steps that could be perceived as provocative must be avoided, as must any action that is detrimental to ongoing efforts to stabilise the situation, in an atmosphere conducive to longer-term conflict resolution and regional stability,” reads the statement by EU foreign policy chief’s spokesperson.
“The EU and its monitoring mission (EUMM) are closely following the situation. We call for restraint and for the use of existing mechanisms such as the Geneva International Discussions and the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) to defuse tensions.”
“The EU reaffirms its full support for Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders,” reads the statement.
U.S. Department of State spokesperson, John Kirby, said when asked about the issue at a daily press briefing on July 13, that the U.S. position on Abkhazia and South Ossetia remains “clear.”
“These regions are integral parts of Georgia. We reaffirm our strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. We once again urge Russia to fulfill all of its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement to withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, and to provide free access for humanitarian assistance to these regions,” Kirby said.