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De-Facto Border Will Not Be Locked before Next Spring

27.12.2013

 
Mari Otarashvili, Akhalgori

Issue of closing de-facto border partly will not be settled before spring 2014. Special Commission set up in Tskhinvali, which works on supplying Akhalgori district with food products, cannot deliver conclusion in December. As it was reported from Tskhinvali, unless the problem of food supply in Akhalgori district is solved, the new regulations will not go in force.

The regulations were enacted on June 18, 2013, based on which transportation towards Akhalgori district from the rest of Georgian territory was to be prohibited from September 18, 2013. Since no cars with Georgian state numbers would have been able to travel towards Akhalgori, it meant partly closing of the de-facto border.

It is noteworthy that de-facto government carried out several experiments and did not allow several cars transporting food products to Akhalgori district from Tbilisi. As a result, district shops got emptied from Georgian products and it damaged not only Georgian and Ossetian inhabitants of the district but Russian soldiers too because they live in Akhalgori together with their families and mostly they purchase food in Georgian shops because of low price on products.

The decree partly went in force. From September to present, passengers cannot take more than 50 kg of luggage across the de-facto border except the personal items; for that reason, locals have to divide luggage in several bags 200 meters away from the de-facto border. The restriction did not apply to the food products distribution cars.

In September, special commission was set up by the de-facto government, which had to deliver conclusion on how to supply Akhalgori district with food when all transportation from Tbilisi will be prohibited.

The commission had to finalize its activities in December. However, as we were reported from Tskhinvali, the commission could not find alternative source of supply. Consequently, the resolution of the problem was postponed before April, 2014. The exact date was not set yet.

According to new regulations, passenger from Tbilisi had to take ordinary mini-bus or car in Didube auto-station in Tbilisi to get to Odzisi village, where Georgian checkpoint is located. Russian blockpost is located 500 meters away from the Georgian checkpoint. Passenger has to walk the distance between two checkpoints and then take new transport from the Russian blockpost. The de-facto government planned to bring new mini-buses from Tskhinvali. 

“No new regulations will go in force yet. The border was to be partly closed in September but as you know it was postponed. The special commission had to deliver conclusion how to supply the Leningori district with food but since this problem was not resolved, the commission will continue working before April, 2014,” official of Tskhinvali de-facto government said. 

Transportation towards Akhalgori district is possible according to old regulations. Ossetian passport or Form 9 is necessary to cross de-facto border to Akhalgori district. 
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