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Georgian MFA Slams Expansion of 'Border Zone' Deeper into Abkhazia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 21 Jan.'14 / 01:12

The Georgian Foreign Ministry expressed “deep concern” over expansion of ‘border zone’ 11 kilometers deeper into the breakaway Abkhazia ahead of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and condemned it as an “illegal action”.

The Foreign Ministry said that this decision by Russia and its “occupation regime” in Abkhazia “resulted into shifting of the Russian-Georgian state border 11 kilometers deeper into the Georgian territory.”

This move, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said, violates once again Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

“The Georgian Foreign Ministry calls on the Russian Federation to stop provocative policy against Georgia and to live up to its international commitments, envisaged under the provisions of the [2008] cease-fire agreement,” reads the statement.

As part of a broader security zone around Sochi ahead and during the Winter Olympic Games, “border zone” with heightened security measures was extended deeper in Abkhazia. Individuals entering into the extended ‘border zone’ in a period between January 20 and March 21, are required to carry identification cards. According to the Abkhaz government’s decree, “a stationary checkpoint” will be established at the village of Bagripshi on the edge of the 11km zone, which will be manned by officers from the Abkhaz security service, interior ministry and migration service.

At this checkpoint the officers will be authorized to check identification cards of persons entering into the extended ‘border zone’ or heading towards the Russian border, as well as to inspect vehicles. Abkhaz law enforcement officers will be carrying out round-the-clock patrols in the villages falling within the zone.

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