The de facto leadership of Georgia’s Russian occupied region of Abkhazia has announced a temporary closure of the so-called border between the region and the rest of the country amid recent protest rallies throughout Georgia.
There are mass protest rallies of a provocative character underway in Georgia, which affect the statehood of the Republic of Abkhazia”, the local security service reported earlier today.
It said the demonstrations are underway in Zugdidi in Georgia’s western region of Samegrelo as well, which is close to the occupation line with Abkhazia.
South Caucasus analyst of the independent non-profit NGO Crisis Group Olesya Vartanyan responded to the announcement on her Twitter account:
New restrictions for crossings to #Abkhazia due to #TbilisiProtests.— Olesya Vartanyan (@Olesya_vArt) June 27, 2019
If lasts for too long, expect incidents with the local ethnic Georgians, who will be trying to find alternative ways to get into the region for the hazelnuts season. https://t.co/Ocf6XgVDgr
In particular, the “entry of foreign citizens from the territory of Georgia, as well as the departure of citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia to the territory of Georgia” will be restricted for an undefined period of time.
Russia recognised the two Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) as independent states after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.
Only Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria have taken the same step of recognition so far.
The rest of the international community says that the regions are occupied by Russia and urge the country to withdraw its troops from Georgian territory.