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Abkhazia imposes visa regime for countries refusing to recognise its independence

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, February 15
The de-facto Abkhazian leadership plans to introduce a visa regime for those states which refused to recognise it as an independent republic.

The Parliament Speaker of Abkhazia, Valeri Bganba, told Russian media that the restriction would come into effect from April 1.

Bganba said the step was aimed at regulating migration policies and empowering control on immigration.

“Russian citizens mainly come to Abkhazia as holidaymakers. Other countries’ citizens might come here, stay for years, work and never pay taxes,” Bganba told Russia’s Tacc new agency.

He added that before the law came into effect the de-facto region’s checkpoints would be equipped with modern technologies.

Russia and Nicaragua recognised Abkhazia’s independence in 2008, in the wake of the Russian-Georgian war. In 2009 Venezuela, Nauru and Tuvalu took the same step, but after several years Vanuatu reversed its recognition.

The rest of the international community considers Abkhazia an integral part of Georgia.

All Georgian political directions state that each action of the de-facto region is beyond any internationally recognized norms and is a violation of domestic and international legislation.