Abkhazia reckons on the solution of the issue on the transition to a simplified border crossing regime with Russia across the Psou River, Abkhazia’s Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Chirikba said on Tuesday. He described the current border crossing procedure as “not appropriate to relations between the two allied countries.”
“We hope that our requests on simplifying the border crossing regime will be heeded and relevant steps will be taken,” the minister told reporters. Chirikba added that he discussed the issue with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on March 11 and “felt absolute understanding.”
“Abkhazia is a tourist country, and during the summer season such a regime on the border creates huge obstacles. It’s necessary to arrange for tourists to cross the border without waiting in queues,” he added.
According to Vyacheslav Chirikba, the simplification of the border crossing regime should go hand in hand with strengthening Abkhazia’s border with Georgia across the Ingur River. “This is a very important process, since a potential threat in terms of arms trafficking, narcotics and illegal migration may emanate from there. The border across the Ingur River requires serious technical infrastructure and tightened control,” he said.
On November 24, 2014, Presidents of Russia and Abkhazia Vladimir Putin and Raul Hadjimba signed an inter-state Agreement on Alliance and Strategic Partnership. It envisages the implementation of an array of measures on joint protection and control of the border between Abkhazia and Georgia as well as full freedom of crossing the Abkhazian-Russian border with due account of restrictions imposed for security reasons.