Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the installation of barbed wire fences in the occupied Abkhazia region

11.08.2017 Tbilisi - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the fact of the installation of barbed wire fences by the Russian occupation forces along the occupation line in Abkhazia region, namely on the territory adjacent to the villages of Khurcha and Shamgona, Zugdidi District.

In April this year, the occupation forces carried out the preparatory works on this perimeter and installed wooden pylons. The partner countries and international organizations were immediately informed about this development. On 9-11 August, barbed wire fences were installed on the abovementioned segment. The length of the fences reached 800-900 meters.

Following the closure of four so-called crossing points in Abkhazia region, the process of installation of barbed wire fences along the occupation line represents a part of Russia’s deliberate policy to further isolate the population living in the occupied region and to hinder the peace processes by any means.

This action of the Russian occupation forces grossly violates the fundamental rights of the local population, restricting their freedom of movement and access to education and health care, which will further complicate already difficult humanitarian situation in Abkhazia region.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges the Russian Federation to cease its aggressive steps against Georgia, respect the principles of international law and its undertaken commitments, to de-occupy the territory of Georgia and take steps for peaceful conflict resolution with respect to Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeals to the international community to properly assess and respond to the actions of the Russian occupation forces, which are directed to the factual annexation of territories of the sovereign state and damage the security environment as well as the international order.