Abkhazia reminds Europe of a broader problem of isolation
NATO calls upon Abkhazia to revise the decision to close down the border check points on the Ingur/i river.
“Closing down of two check points on the administrative border of the Georgian region of Abkhazia, used by hundreds each day, will have negative local and regional effect”, NATO representative Oana Lungescu said.
Lungescu called upon the Abkhazian authorities to revise the decision, that will restrict the freedom of movement and have negative effect on local residents.
On February 25 Federica Mogрerini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs also made a statement on the issue.
“Such a one-sided decision contradicts the obligations to improve security and living conditions of the conflict victims… it creates the atmosphere, that does not help lasting resolution of the conflict and overall stability in the region”, it says.
EU calls not to close down the check points in order to guarantee freedom of movement, including the humanitarian purposes.
The Abkhazian Foreign Ministry reacted, calling the statement “the peak of cynicism” – taking into account, that last December the Abkhazian side through the co-chairmen of the Geneva Discussions sent her an official letter, describing restrictions and obstacles the Abkhazian citizen face in regard to their right for free movement, in particular, the difficulties with the EU visa for the Abkhazia residents.
The Abkhazian Foreign Ministry consider it more wise, “for the EU authorities to look at the problem of international isolation of the Abkhazia residents in a broader context, not exclusively in regard to the Gal district of Abkhazia”.
According to the Abkhazian authorities decision, all check points are to be closed down, except for the one on the Ingur/i bridge. Which means many will have to travel dozens kilometers extra to cross the border.