Ukrainian citizens who were stranded in the buffer zone of the Lars checkpoint on the Russia-Georgia border since August 17 have been allowed to enter the territory of Georgia, the Georgian foreign office said on Sunday.
In a statement, the Georgian foreign office noted the authorities had made a decision to allow the group into Georgian territory after the health condition of one of the individuals had worsened.
[T]the Georgian side immediately informed the Ukrainian [diplomatic] mission in Georgia regarding the citizens of Ukraine at the border of Georgia, [with the Ukrainian office] explain[ing] that appropriate lengthy procedures were needed to resolve the issue from the Ukrainian side”, the Ministry said.
The Ministry on Thursday rejected media reports that alleged the Ukrainian nationals were stranded in the buffer zone without food and basic necessities.
The Ministry called the reports by Georgian TV channels earlier during the day - which said the individuals had found themselves in the zone after being “expelled” from Russia - “baseless”.
The body also said the Georgian authorities were assisting the Ukrainian diplomatic mission in the country in facilitating the transfer of the individuals to Ukraine, and added Oleksandr Shulha, the Ukrainian Chargé d'affaires, had explained the group had been released after serving their sentences in a detention facility in Russia.
The body also said the diplomat had said the group had “internal Ukrainian passports” but needed to be identified and have permits from relevant Ukrainian authorities, “which requires additional time”.
The Ministry noted the official had thanked the Georgian side for cooperation in the case and noted the “good practice” of cooperation with relevant Georgian agencies.