Will OSCE Mission Monitoring Russo-Georgian Border Be Reinforced?

Director of the Russian Federal Frontier Service (FPS) Konstantin Totsky hopes that the greater number of the OSCE mission observers on monitoring the Russo-Georgian border will make their reports more objective.

He stated on Monday at a press conference in RIA Novosti that earlier "official reports of the mission did not correspond to reality". In particular, according to Totsky, this concerns the presence of militants in the Pankisi Gorge. The mission did not confirm this fact although even Georgia admitted it later.

The number of the mission members is supposed to be increased on the basis of the decision adopted in December last year by the OSCE permanent council to make up 111 people in winter and 144 in summer. Totsky believes that even this number of observers is not enough for giving objective information.

Replying to a RIA Novosti question as to whether the Russian Federal Frontier Service will be represented in the OSCE, Totsky pointed out that 3-4 FPS representatives were already working in the organisation. He believes that the point at issue should be not the growing number of border guards in the mission but the sending to Vienna of reliable information provided by border guards to the observers.

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