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Russia to Protect Ships Bound to Abkhazia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 29 Aug.'09 / 13:20

Russian coast guard vessels will escort ships en route to, and from Abkhazia to protect them from being seized by the Georgian side, Russian and Abkhaz officials said on August 28.

“In the border guard unit of FSB [Russia Federal Security Service] in Abkhazia there is a group of boats, which will solve these issues, meaning providing security for [ships],” RIA Novosti reported quoting Yevgeny Inchin, deputy head of Russia’s border guard service, which is under FSB’s subordination.

“It will happen in the nearest future,” he added.

Chief of the breakaway Abkhazia’s border guard service, Zurab Margania, said that the Russian and Abkhaz border guards would jointly take measures to prevent the Georgian coast guard from seizing vessels bound to Abkhazia.

“An agreement between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia on joint protection of the state border envisages joint measures to provide security in the Republic’s territorial waters,” Interfax news agency reported quoting Margania.

The Georgian coast guard detained four cargo vessels this year for unauthorized entry into the breakaway region’s ports, which, Tbilisi says, is a violation of Georgia’s law on occupied territories banning economic activities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia without Tbilisi’s consent.

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