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  Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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The Defense Ministry of South Ossetia said Friday Georgia was moving
The Defense Ministry of South Ossetia said Friday Georgia was moving troops towards its border, the republic's information and press committee said.

The committee cited South Ossetian Deputy Defense Minister Ibragim Gasseyev as saying that four Georgian armored vehicles and 16 trucks had approached the village of Mereti, Gori district.

"Considering that each vehicle has at least 20 people, Georgia has moved at least 300 people to Mereti," Gasseyev said.

At the same time Gasseyev voiced concern over the stance of the EU monitoring mission tasked with ensuring security along the border with two breakaway republics, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Both republics have refused to allow EU observers on their territory.

"Why don't they ask why Georgia is moving troops to the South Ossetian border? In the light of the recent events the place and role of EU monitors is unclear to us," he said.

Earlier on Friday, local security agencies had reported that Georgia was preparing provocations against the South Ossetian security forces and the Russian troops stationed in the area.

Gasseyev said: "If Georgia is preparing provocations, it should think of possible consequences before it starts carrying them out."

Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states on August 26 after a five-day war with Georgia, which launched an attack on South Ossetia to try and regain control of the region.

The two republics have had de facto independence since they broke away from Georgia in bloody post-Soviet conflicts in the early 1990s.


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