Georgia condemns opening of Russian polling stations in occupied Abkhazia, Tskhinvali

  • The occupation line prevents several hundreds of thousands of IDPs and refugees from returning to places of their permanent residence. Photo by Nino Alavidze/, 18 Mar 2018 - 15:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Foreign Minister has released a statement condemning the opening of 33 polling stations in the Russian occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) for today’s Russian presidential elections.

This is yet another clear example of occupation of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and an illegal step towards annexation”, the ministry said.

The ministry said those living in the regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali were given Russian passports illegally in 2000s, while due to ethnic cleansing, hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees still lack the right to return to their original homes.

With these steps the Russian Federation fully violates the United Nations (UN) charter, the Helsinki Final Act and rudely violates the fundamental norms and principles of international law such as sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of internationally recognized borders and interference in domestic affairs”, the ministry said.

Calling for the international community to condemn Russia’s illegal steps in Georgian occupied regions, the foreign ministry believes Russia undermines international order.

From 9 pm on Saturday until 6 am on Monday, individuals will be temporarily unable to use the crossing-point between Georgia and its Russian-occupied region of Tskhinvali. Photo by Mzia Saganelidze/RFERL

  • Earlier, the de-facto administration of Tskhinvali announced the closure of the crossing-point between the breakaway region and the rest of Georgia due to presidential elections in Russia.
  • From 9 pm on Saturday until 6 am on Monday, people have been temporarily unable to use the crossing-point "due to increased security measures".