US concerned over de facto South Ossetian authorities’ decision to close so-called administrative boundary line
09 May, 2018
US concerned over de facto South Ossetian authorities’ decision to close so-called administrative boundary line
The US Department of State is concerned by the decision of de facto South Ossetian authorities to temporarily close crossing points in Georgia along the administrative boundary line in occupied Tskhinvali region.
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US concerned over de facto South Ossetian authorities’ decision to close so-called administrative boundary line

“The United States is concerned by the decision of de facto South Ossetian authorities to temporarily close controlled crossing points in Georgia along the administrative boundary line in the Russian-occupied territory of South
Ossetia. These closures coincide with Georgia's celebration of Victory Day and restrict freedom of movement for residents living on both sides of the administrative boundary line.

In addition, the United States calls for an immediate halt to the ongoing illegal detentions of Georgian citizens by de facto and Russian authorities along the administrative boundary lines with the Russian-occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” the statement of the US Department of States reads.
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Elderly women passes by the so-called border line in Tskhinvali

As a reminder, occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) government announced about the closure of the so-called administrative boundary line with the rest of Georgia on May 7 regarding the 73th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, when the Soviet Union defeated Nazi Germany in the 1941-1945 armed conflict. The checkpoint was closed at 8 pm on May 7 and will open at 8 pm on May 10.
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Occupation line in Tskhinvali (so-called South Ossetia)

After the 2008 war and subsequent Russian military occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (so-called South Ossetia), the Russian government, along with several others, considers the territories as sovereign independent states: the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia.
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Russian soldiers pause on their way to Tskhinvali, at the start of 2008 Russo-Georgian War

Russia does not allow the European Union Monitoring Mission to enter either Abkhazia or South Ossetia. Russia has signed agreements with the de facto civilian administrations of both territories to integrate them militarily and economically into Russia. Russian troops have started the process of demarcation (also known as "borderization") near South Ossetia-Georgia administrative boundary line and meanwhile gradually advancing the occupation line inside Georgia to enlarge the Russian-held territory.
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Russian soldiers have a break as the troops move from Tskhinvali back to Russia. August 2008

Both Abkhazia and Tskhinvali are widely recognized as integral parts of Georgia and together represent 20% of Georgia's internationally recognized territory. The Georgian "Law on Occupied Territories of Georgia", adopted in 2008, criminalizes and prosecutes entry into Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the Russian side. The Georgian law also prohibits any economic and financial activities in the occupied territories. Georgia and a major part of the international community (the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, the US, Japan, the EU, NATO, OSCE, Council of Europe) have recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as occupied territories and have condemned the Russian military presence and actions there.
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Russian troops patrol in Tskhinvali. August 25, 2008. Photo: Viktor Drachev/GettyImages

Related stories:

Georgia's President congratulates the World War II veterans on Victory Day

De facto Ministry of Abkhazia criticizes Council of Europe’s support towards new peace initiative of Georgia

US Assistant Secretary visits occupation line: "We call on the Russia to withdraw the recognition of these regions"

Chairman of NATO Military Committee: “If Russia had not invaded Transnistria, Georgia and Ukraine, NATO would not have strengthened its military”
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