Abkhazia has denounced Georgia’s recent ‘peace initiative’ to simplify trade and movement of people for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while the US, EU, and a number of other countries welcomed the initiative.
Georgian authorities have unveiled a wide ranging plan ‘to encourage contacts, movement, and relations’ with people in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The plan includes efforts to simplify trade, including from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the EU, and encourage students from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to study in Georgian institutions and abroad. The initiative will also include changes to Georgia’s Law on Occupied Territories.
The latest round of the Geneva discussions have ended with mutual accusations. Despite hopes from Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Russia, the parties failed to agree on a joint oral statement on the non-use of force.
Georgia’s parliament has adopted a resolution calling for those committing human rights violations in Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be punished. The resolution orders the cabinet to create a list of people accused or convicted of ‘murder, kidnapping, torture and inhumane treatment, and serious damage to the health of Georgian citizens on the occupied territories’. It also calls for sanctions against those covering up such crimes. [Read more…]
A journalist and activist in South Ossetia, Tamara Mearakishvili, has been accused by the authorities there of forgery. Mearakishvili says she has been under ‘unofficial house arrest’ since August.
South Ossetia has handed over the body of Archil Tatunashvili, a former Georgian soldier who died in prison in South Ossetia ‘in unclear circumstances’, to the Georgian authorities, 26 days after his death. [Read more…]
The US Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, has suggested Georgia should ‘of course […] have contacts with civil authorities’ in Abkhazia, and possibly in South Ossetia. He supported Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s appeal to Russia to improve relations and calling for ‘direct dialogue with the Abkhazians and the Ossetians’. Kvirikashvili has come under intense criticism from the opposition since making the appeal last week.
The Georgian PM’s statement last Friday calling for ‘direct dialogue with the Abkhazians and the Ossetians’ and improving relations with Russia has come under fire from opposition parties. The EU’s Ambassador to Georgia said PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s statement ‘argues for sensible steps’ while Russia said it was ‘satisfied’ with the statement. [Read more…]
Two Georgian citizens being held in South Ossetia have been allowed to return to Tbilisi-controlled territory. Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili were detained along with former Georgian soldier Archil Tatunashvili, who died in custody in Tskhinvali (Tskhinval) ‘in unclear circumstances’. South Ossetian authorities have refused to release Tatunashvili’s body. [Read more…]
Authorities in South Ossetia have linked Archil Tatunashvili, a Georgian citizen who died in custody in Tskhinvali (Tskhinval) last week, to a homemade bomb they say they found in Akhalgori (Leningor). A State of emergency has been declared in Akhalgori, and riot police deployed to the district.