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EU Monitors Warn Against Fake TV Report
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 16 Mar.'10 / 18:01

EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) said that “irresponsible programming” like Imedi TV fake report “has the potential to seriously destabilize the situation” in areas close to breakaway regions.

“Dangerous and significant incidents could have occurred,” EUMM said in a statement on March 16. “We call on all those with positions of responsibility to fully consider the implications of their actions in future. It must be in everyone’s interest to ensure that security and stability are maintained.”

It also said that the mission was following closely situation on the ground in the wake of Imedi TV’s fake report on March 13.

“During the event, EUMM was in contact with the Russian Border Guards and South Ossetian de facto authorities through the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism ‘hotline’. We were able to reassure them of the ‘simulated’ nature of the Imedi TV programme and to verify that their level of alert had remained unchanged,” EUMM said.

It also said that security situation in these areas had “improved considerably” since the winter of 2008 and had remained calm in the aftermath of the fake TV broadcast.

“However our monitors have witnessed the anxiety and concern of the local population for their security and safety caused by this incident,” it said.

EUMM statement is latest in series of statements by international community condemning the fake report depicting fictitious events taking place after the local elections and involving opposition’s protests followed by Russian military intervention.

Tbilisi has called on the international community to pay attention on Russia’s policies towards Georgia rather then focusing on the fake report by a television station.

“The Georgian government believes that instead of concentrating attention on violation of standards of ethics by a television station, the attention of the international community should be focused – as it is – on such real facts like Russia’s occupation, ethnic cleansing, non-fulfillment of ceasefire agreement, open actions by Russia directed towards overthrow of the democratically elected Georgian government and attempts to restore so called spheres of influence,” President’s spokesperson, Manana Manjgaladze, said on March 15.

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