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Georgia condemns closure of checkpoints

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 9
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has condemned the closure of the so-called crossing points by the Russian occupation regime in the Abkhazian villages of Nabakevi and Otobaia.

“During the year of 2016, the representatives of the occupation regime closed the so-called crossing points in the villages of Tagiloni and Lekukhona. On 5 March 2017, they abolished two more so-called crossing points along the occupation line,” Georgia’s Foreign Ministry says.

The ministry stressed that the decision “grossly violates” fundamental rights to freedom of movement, privacy and family life, as well as access to education and healthcare for the local population, and isolates the Abkhazia region from the rest of the world.

“The decrease of the number of the so-called crossing points along the occupation line will aggravate the already difficult humanitarian situation in Abkhazia, especially the life of vulnerable groups, such as elderly people, persons in need of medical care or evacuation and also harms schoolchildren. These cause the destabilization of the situation on the ground,” the Georgian government said.

The ministry stated that despite clear-cut appeals by the international community, including the UN, the EU, NATO, the USA, Lithuania and Japan, it seemed that the Russian occupation regime in Sokhumi made the decision to continue the “destructive policy” and to impede the peaceful conflict resolution efforts by the Georgian Government.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called upon Russia to refrain from provocative actions against Georgia, respect the fundamental principles of international law, as well as commitments taken under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and demonstrate a responsible approach to prevent the escalation of tensions on the ground.

The ministry also appealed to the international community to duly assess the closure of the so-called crossing points and the isolation of the occupied regions, as well as the so-called referendum to be held on 9 April in the Tskhinvali region, and to take effective measures with regards to Russia’s illegal steps undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.