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EU, Georgia: European monitoring should cover country’s occupied regions

Georgia’s new prime minister, Giorgi Gakharia, and the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Johannes Hahn (pictured above) have both stated that the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) should continue its activities in Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) and Abkhazia, Georgia’s breakaway territories.

The two men’s statements follow the refusal of the de-facto Tskhinvali and Abkhazian authorities to allow EUMM monitoring in the Russia-occupied regions.

“We must do our best to fulfill the mandate of the EU Monitoring Mission throughout the occupied territories, which will help to ensure the security of our citizens,” said the Georgian prime minister.

“We emphasised that the implementation of recommendations issued by the OSCE, especially for the 2020 elections, will ensure a pluralistic and equal media environment and transparent elections,” said Mr Hahn.

“For us Georgia is a leading country in terms of development, especially in terms of rule of law, and especially in the Eastern Partnership. We want Georgia to retain the status.”

Speaking at the inauguration of the first European School in Tbilisi, an EU-funded institution that will enroll students from the six member states of the Eastern Partnership, Mr Hahn noted that the school was “just one more example of Georgia demonstrating its commitment to the European idea.”