40 Citizens of Armenia in Desperate Situation in South Ossetia


Georgy Khosroev: “We Spare No Efforts to Save People from Hard Situation”

19 Oct 04

It is almost a week that 40 citizens of Armenia are in desperate
situation in South Ossetia. As Upper Lars Russian-Georgian border
crossing is blocked, our compatriots have to go to Lower Zamarag
Russian-Ossetian checkpoint to pass from Russia to Armenia. But,
passing through unknown South Ossetia, they became hostages in Ergneti
settlement, by the Georgian-Southern Ossetian border.

Georgy Khosroev, RA ambassador to Georgia, said in a telephone talk
that the embassy spares no efforts to save the people from the hard
situation. “We attentively follow the fate of our citizens. Those
people are in hard situation. In order to help them the employees of
the embassy fetched food, medicines and water to Ergneti,” Khosroev

RA embassy continues the negotiations with the Georgian authorities to
help 40 RA citizens pass the Georgian-South Ossetian border. Artur
Sargsian, RA Counsel to Georgia, left for Ergneti to help the
Armenians and to study the situation there. He said in the interview
to Azg Daily that there are children, old people and a pregnant woman
in the cars stuck by the border.

When Russia blocked Upper Lars border crossing and advised the
Armenian citizens to travel through Lower Zamarag-Tskhinvali-Ergneti
road, Tbilisi announced officially that Russia-Georgia road through
South Ossetia is illegal and the only legal border point is Upper
Lars. Earlier, as a result of the Armenian-Georgian negotiations, the
official Tbilisi allowed the cars and the citizens struck in Ergneti
to continue their way, on the other hand, the Georgian officials gave
a friendly piece of advice to the Armenians to find other ways and not
to use that road again.

Ambassador Khosroev reminded that earlier, as a result of
negotiations, they managed to lead away three groups of Armenians, 58,
36 and 31 people correspondingly, from Ergneti to Bagratashen
checkpoint of the Armenian-Georgian border. It’s worth reminding that
Ergneti is the area where shooting between Georgian and South Ossetian
armed forces is being heard frequently.

Mikheil Kareli, representative of Georgia’s President in Shida Qarteli
region, said in the interview to Rustavi-2 TV channel that there are
three legal border checkpoints for reaching Russia from Georgia,
i.e. Upper Lars, Tbilisi airport and Poti harbor. Correspondingly, all
the foreigners, either Armenians or Azeris should use only the
abovementioned border points, Kareli said. Kareli added that by
keeping open the Roki tunnel for the Armenian citizens and
transportation of the Armenian goods to Russia may embroil Georgia
with Armenia.

It’s worth mentioning that only the Armenians that leave for working
in the republics of the North Caucasus are using the land road from
Russia to Armenia and in the opposite direction, as well as the people
who can’t afford airplanes tickets for returning to Armenia.

RA ambassador to Georgia said that on October 15, early in the morning
the employees of the embassy would leave for Ergneti to take food,
water, medicines and warm covers for RA citizens stuck there. “It may
be possible to lead these people out of the hard situation. The
diocese of the Armenian church in Georgia, as well as Apaven NGO are
also concerned with the fate of the Armenian citizens and they try to
render help to them,” Khosroev said.

By Tatoul Hakobian