The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia categorically condemns the illegal process of so-called “borderization” launched by the Russian occupation forces in the Georgian Government-controlled village of Mereti, Gori Municipality, on 21 May, as well as the increased provocations of the Russian Federation during the last two months.

While the whole world is fighting the severe consequences of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) global pandemic, the Russian occupation forces are activating installation of barbed wire fences, the so-called “border” signs and digging the so-called anti-fire tranches in the direction of both occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia. Only during the last week, the so-called process of “borderization” was going on simultaneously in the vicinity of the Kareli Municipality villages of Tseronisi, Knolevi, Takhtisdziri, Dvani, Koda, Chvrinisi and Atotsi; the Tsalenjikha Municipality villages of Pakhulani and Muzhava; as well as the Zugdidi Municipality villages of Khurcha and Ganmukhuri.

In addition, the Russian Federation has deliberately intensified its hybrid warfare tools against Georgia, and with fabricated propaganda myths it constantly attacks one of the laboratories of Georgia’s National Center for Disease Control and Public Health – the Richard Lugar Center, which plays a crucial role in the fight against spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Georgia. At first glance absurd and comic blames of Russia and its occupation regime in Tskhinvali, as if the Georgian Government has artificially spread the Coronavirus in the occupied Tskhinvali region and collected the biological samples from the residents of the region, actually serve for the purpose of undermining the trust of the local population towards the Government of Georgia, and yet another goal of creating managed chaos on the ground. We stress that such disinformation campaign by the Russian side represents an open attack on the health protection of the population and the national security of Georgia.

Russia’s provocative actions in all above-mentioned directions are part of Moscow’s deliberate destructive policy aimed at destabilizing the situation in the country, through escalation of the conflict on the ground and use of hybrid warfare tools against the Government of Georgia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls upon the Russian Federation to immediately cease the provocations and hybrid warfare against Georgia, respect its international obligations, start the implementation of the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and withdraw its occupation forces from Georgia’s territory.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to duly assess Russia’s destructive steps, and take effective measures to stop Russia’s increased attacks against Georgia.