The authorities in the self-declared Republic of South Ossetia have returned back to Georgian jurisdiction the body of 35 year old Archil Tatunashvili wh in unclear circumstances after he crossed into territory controlled by the Tskhinvali de facto authorities on 22 February.
The transfer of the body of Tatunashvili back to Georgian jurisdiction was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross. It is now expected that the Georgian authorities will hold an autopsy on the body to ascertain the cause of death.
The incident increased tensions between Georgia and its separatist territory, and was of concern to the international community.
A statement issued in Geneva by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said:
"The ICRC facilitated the transfer of Mr Archil Tatunashvili's remains today through Ergnet/i - an operation conducted on purely humanitarian grounds and in compliance with standard handover protocols. His remains were subsequently handed over to the Georgian authorities, in accordance with the family's decision."
Metropolitan Hilarion met Pope Francis and briefed Catholic officials on the decisions of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted at its meeting on October 15 in Minsk relating to the dispute with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople regarding Ukraine