Russian MFA Comments on Tension around South Ossetia and Abkhazia
OREANDA-NEWS. October 7, 2008.The new exacerbation of the situation in Transcaucasia is causing deep concern.
An ownerless car brought onto the territory of peacekeeping forces’ headquarters in Tskhinval from the security zone around South Ossetia exploded on October 3. Seven troops, including Ivan Petrik, chief of the joint staff for the peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia, died on the spot and four were wounded. According to our data, up to 20 kilograms of TNT had been laid in the car. On the same day an assassination attempt was made on Anatoly Margiyev, head of South Ossetia’s Leningorsk district administration. On October 5, in Tskhinval, an employee of a construction company engaged in the restoration of a residential complex in the Republic of South Ossetia was killed in a shooting from the Georgian side. The latest incident occurred on October 6. An unidentified explosive went off in front of the head column of Russian peacekeepers pulling out of an area near Abkhazia northeast of Zugdidi in accordance with the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan.
The impression is that some forces in Tbilisi, who oppose the normal and smooth transition of functions in the security zones around South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Russian peacekeepers to European Union observers, are deliberately trying to escalate tensions and seeking to provoke new hostilities through a series of terrorist acts.
In this connection Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has sent a letter to French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner expressing the Russian side's concern over the provoked deterioration of the security situation. Nevertheless, we firmly intend to fulfill the obligations agreed between the Presidents of the Russian Federation and France on the withdrawal of our peacekeeping units from Georgia on October 10, 2008. We hope that the European Union, which acts as the guarantor of the nonuse of force by Georgia, will take necessary measures to stabilize the situation in keeping with its commitments.
The respective appeals have also been sent to the leaderships of the UN and OSCE, which have their observers in the areas of Georgia adjacent to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.