EU to launch satellite to monitor Georgian breakaway regions

The European Union (EU) will launch a satellite to follow the situation in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said Monday.

The satellite would monitor the movement of people and equipment and the construction of military facilities in the two regions, Kalandadze said.

All EU countries have agreed on the conduction of the supervision and preparations are already underway, she said.

The monitoring is aimed at preventing incidents and provocations in the conflict zones, she added.

However, critics said the monitoring was not so effective. They argued the zones have been under the watchful eyes of monitors from 22 EU states since October 2008, but no real improvements of the situation have been achieved.

Georgian forces retook Abkhazia in August 2008, but were driven out by the Russian military swiftly.

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