Georgian MFA: airport in occupied Abkhazia won’t be used for international flights

  • Russian media says that the Russian government has plans to open Babushera Airport in occupied Abkhazia for international flights. Photo by blogger Lana Sator, taken in 2017., 29 Jul 2019 - 16:46, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Foreign Ministry says that Babushera Airport in the city of Sokhumi in Georgia’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia region will not be used for international flights, contradicting the information released by Russian media.

Russian media outlets report that the Russian government is trying to open the airport for international flights.

Carrying out international flights from the occupied Abkhazia region contradicts international law, Georgian law and the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO),” the Georgian Foreign Ministry says.

The ministry states that international flights have been suspended to and from Abkhazia since 1993, after the armed conflict in the region.

The Georgian law on occupation bans international flights in the region, which is supported by the ICAO,” the ministry says.

  • The war in Abkhazia from 1992 to 1993 was fought between Georgian government forces for the most part, and Abkhaz separatist forces, Russian armed forces and North Caucasian militants. 
  • The separatists received support from thousands of North Caucasus and Cossack militants and from the Russian forces stationed in and near Abkhazia.
  • Between 13,000 to 20,000 ethnic Georgians and approximately 3,000 Abkhaz were reported killed, more than 250,000 Georgians became internally displaced or refugees and about 2,000 are considered missing.
  • The region was recognised as an independent republic by Russia after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.
  • Since the war only Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria have recognised the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as independent states. The rest of the international community says that the regions are occupied by Russia.