Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on closure of the so-called crossing points in the occupied Abkhazia region

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia condemns the closure of the so-called crossing points by the Russian occupation regime in the villages of Nabakevi and Otobaia, the Abkhazia region. Noteworthy that during the year of 2016 the representatives of the occupation regime closed the so-called crossing points in the villages of Tagiloni and Lekukhona. On 5 March 2017, they abolished two more so-called crossing points along the occupation line.

This decision grossly violates fundamental rights to freedom of movement, privacy and family life, access to education and health care for the local population and serves for isolation of the occupied Abkhazia region from the rest of the world. The decrease of number of the so-called crossing points along the occupation line will aggravate already difficult humanitarian situation in Abkhazia region, especially the life of vulnerable groups, such as: elderlies, people in need of medical care or medical evacuation and schoolchildren, which will provoke further destabilization of the situation on the ground.

Despite clear-cut appeals by the international community, including the UN, the EUNATO, the USALithuania and Japan, it seems that the Russian occupation regime in Sokhumi made the decision to continue the destructive policy and to impede the peaceful conflict resolution efforts by the Georgian Government.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls upon the Russian Federation to refrain from the provocative actions against Georgia, respect the fundamental principles of international law, as well as commitments taken under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and reveal responsible approach to prevention of escalation of tensions on the ground.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeals to the international community to duly assess the tendency of closure of so-called crossing points and isolation of the occupied regions, also the so-called referendum to be held on 9 April in the Tskhinvali region, and to take effective measures with regard to Russia’s illegal steps undermining sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.