Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2023, 12:44 GMT

Georgia: U.S. 'deeply concerned' over closures of Abkhazia crossing points

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 6 March 2017
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Georgia: U.S. 'deeply concerned' over closures of Abkhazia crossing points, 6 March 2017, available at: [accessed 24 May 2023]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

March 06, 2017

A checkpoint on the line of control between Georgia and the breakaway Abkazia region. (file photo)A checkpoint on the line of control between Georgia and the breakaway Abkazia region. (file photo)

WASHINGTON – The United States says it is "deeply concerned" by the decision of Russia-backed separatists in Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region to close two crossing points on the boundary line with Georgian-controlled territory.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on March 6 that the closures, completed a day earlier near the villages of Otobaia and Nabakevi, "will further restrict freedom of movement and damage the livelihoods of local residents."

"The United States calls for these crossing points to be reopened, allowing children to attend school and residents to move freely to engage in commerce, visit relatives, and obtain necessary medical services," Toner said.

NATO had previously criticized the announcement of the planned closures, saying they would "have a negative impact on the situation on [the] ground and stability in the region."

The European Union said the closures of the crossing points "would be contrary to efforts to normalize the situation."

Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries after fighting a brief war against Georgia in 2008, and maintains thousands of troops in the breakaway Georgian regions.

Toner reiterated Washington's longstanding support for Tbilisi in the standoff, saying the United States "fully supports Georgia's territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders."

With reporting by RFE/RL's Georgian Service

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

Copyright notice: Copyright (c) 2007-2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036

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