EU: Closure of crossing points with breakaway Abkhazia will make locals’ lives harder

  • So called border between occupied Abkhazia and rest of Georgia. Photo: AFP, 26 Feb 2017 - 13:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

European Union External Action Service Spokesperson Maja Kocijancic released a statement yesterday on the latest developments along the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) of Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia.

The statement read that the announced closure of two crossing points along the ABL - Nabakevi-Khurcha and Meore Otobaia-Orsantia - which are used daily by hundreds of commuters, will be detrimental to the freedom of movement of the population, including school children, on both sides of the ABL.

The statement added that it will likely increase the risk of incidents, especially detentions.

"Such a unilateral decision would go against commitments to work towards enhanced security and improved living conditions for the conflict-affected population”, the statement read.

"Furthermore, it would be contrary to efforts to normalise the situation by creating an atmosphere that is not conducive to longer-term conflict resolution and overall stability in the region.”

The statement also read that the EU calls for the crossing points to remain open to ensure the freedom of movement, including humanitarian crossings.

Kocijancic added that the participants in the Geneva International Discussions should engage constructively in enhancing security and improving living conditions for the conflict-affected population.

"The European Union continues to closely follow the situation along the Administrative Boundary Line, including through the enhanced presence of its monitoring mission”, the statement read.

It added that the EU reaffirms its full support to Georgia's territorial integrity within its internationally-recognised borders.