The European Union expressed “continued full confidence” in the leadership of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and stressed that “determination of the composition of the EU delegation at the IPRM meeting by another participant is unacceptable.”
"The EU regrets that the Abkhazia Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting on 24th April was cancelled at the last minute due to certain conditions set by the Abkhaz de facto authorities,” a spokesperson for the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said in a written statement on April 27.
“Any challenge to established and agreed procedures of the Geneva International Discussions can have serious consequences,” it said. “As stated in the Statement of the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions on 25 April, the IPRM's have been acknowledged by all participants of the Geneva Discussions as an important tool for addressing security issues as well as other issues on the ground.”
“The EU Monitoring Mission plays an important role in the IPRM’s within its stabilization, normalization and confidence-building mandate,” the statement reads.
The EU also expressed its hope that “the IPRM can soon meet again to the benefit of all participants.”
Authorities in breakaway Abkhazia accused on April 25 head of the EUMM, Andrzej Tyszkiewicz, of “disrespect” towards Sokhumi and declared him as “an undesirable person on the territory of Abkhazia”. A day earlier a meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Gali did not took place after the Abkhaz side refused to participate in it in protest against the head of EUMM.
Sokhumi wants EUMM to be represented at the IPRM meetings by other representatives instead of the mission head.
The Russia Foreign Ministry backed Sokhumi’s claims against the head of EUMM and said on April 27 that “the Abkhaz position has its logic.”
Tbilisi said that Moscow was behind Sokhumi’s recent demarche against the EUMM head. The Georgian Foreign Ministry said on April 26, that it was part of Moscow’s attempts to undermine EUMM.