21 Nov 2019 13:45

EU ambassador calls Georgian doctor detained in S. Ossetia victim of border tensions

TBILISI. Nov 21 (Interfax) - The EU Delegation to Georgia is participating in talks on the release of President of the Georgian Association of Orthopedists and Traumatologists Vazha Gaprindashvili, who was detained in South Ossetia for illegally crossing the border, EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell told the press.

The EU views him as a victim of the current extremely tense situation present on the administrative border between Georgia and South Ossetia, Hartzell said, adding that the EU was participating in negotiations aimed at the doctor's soonest release.

The EU continues to call for the opening of border checkpoints by South Ossetia, which is essential for the humanitarian and political situation on the borderline, he said.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said at a government meeting on Thursday that "relevant agencies" are at work to free Gaprindashvili.

The doctor was detained by South Ossetian border guards on November 9. The South Ossetian State Security Committee said he was facing the criminal charge of illegal border crossing. Meanwhile, Georgian media said that the doctor went to South Ossetia to help a patient.