The Georgian Foreign Minister, Davit Zalkaliani held his first meeting with the newly-appointed Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, Marek Szczygieł.
The sides discussed the difficult security, human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, as well as across the occupation line.
The Minister paid special attention to Russia-orchestrated provocations having become a frequent occasion. In this light, the sides highlighted the increasing number of cases involving installation of barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers across the occupation line and other types of illegal activities posing a threat to peace and stability in the region and restricting the rights of the local communities.
Davit Zalkaliani expressed his concern over Russia’s increased use of hybrid war instruments and disinformation campaigns against Georgia and the EUMM. Special accent was put on the restrictions imposed on free movement and medical evacuation, which weighs heavily on the conflict-affected population and even ends fatally in some cases.
While on the theme of provocations, the sides underscored the necessity of immediately resuming the functioning of the Gali and Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms, in full compliance with the fundamental principles.
Expressing his gratitude to the EUMM, Zalkaliani highlighted the important role the Mission plays in providing the international community with objective information, as well as in de-escalating the situation on the ground. The need of granting the EUMM its mandated access to the occupied territories was also emphasized at the meeting.