US Ambassador condemns opening of Russian polling stations in occupied Abkhazia, Tskhinvali

33 polling stations were open in the Russian occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) for Sunday's Russian presidential elections. Photo by Natalia Airian/Sputnik, 19 Mar 2018 - 11:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

The United States (US) Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly said it is inadmissible to carry out any activities in the Russian occupied regions of Georgia – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) - without the consent of the Government of Georgia.

Ambassador Kelly referred to the opening of polling stations in the two breakaway regions for yesterday’s Russian presidential elections.

Georgian Foreign Ministry has called for the international community to condemn Russia’s illegal steps in Georgian occupied regions. Photo by Natalia Airian/Sputnik

Kelly said the US does not recognize Russian authority over Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and consider the two breakaway regions parts of Georgia.

Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze said the opening of polling stations in the Russian occupied regions is against international norms.

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, individuals were temporarily unable to use the crossing-point between Georgia and its Russian-occupied region of Tskhinvali.