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Georgia’s withdrawal from CIS yields results2009-09-18 12:47
Russia put a ban on entry of Georgian citizens via Azerbaijan land border. Now the Georgians will either have to take a plane or sail the Black Sea. Though train or car journeys were never popular with Sakartvelo's people, the country's Foreign Ministry and Georgian Azerbaijanis (!) have expressed their discontent.
A sideway that allowed Georgians to get to Russia and back since the direct air communication between two countries was stopped has been closed. Russia gave effect to the government's resolution as of November 5 1999 number 1223 stipulating passage of CIS vehicles and citizens via the RF-Azerbaijan border. Georgia withdrew from the commonwealth a month ago.
Tbilisi reserved the right to be a party to nearly 70 bilateral and multilateral contracts within the CIS framework being ready to renew some agreements. But Russia's internal regulations are beyond this scope - there are no diplomatic relations between the countries. Though on Tbilisi's request Moscow could have made an exception (in theory). The Foreign Ministry's statement is not incidental stipulating that "taking into account amendments made thereafter the passage of citizens and vehicles of the Republic of Abkhazia and Republic of South Ossetia as well as railway vehicles of the Baltic states is presently permitted " via that same Azerbaijan border. But Tbilisi is not going to make concessions and won't beg.
Russia introduced this resolution to filter penetration of members of foreign terrorist organizations and import of arms and subversive equipment into the territory of the Russian Federation. Now this threat hasn't decreased becoming still more palpable. Terrorist attacks are daily in Russia's southern republics, so the cancellation of the resolution is out of question.
"The Russian Federation Interests Section at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tbilisi informs Georgian citizens willing to obtain Russian visas on impossibility to enter the Russian Federation through land Russian-Azerbaijan border", - its press service writes highlighting that "the Russian side has not established and will not create any special limitations". "This is one of the inevitable legal consequences of Georgia's withdrawal from the CIS. We are sincerely sorry about the inconveniences the citizens of this country have due to this", - the Russian Foreign Ministry remarked.
Though there are no diplomatic relations between the countries written correspondence between the diplomats is highly intensive. Tbilisi doubted the sincerity of their colleagues and the ban was condemned. "Against the background of the Russian side's repeated statements on "centuries-long good neighborly relations between Georgia and Russia", the aforesaid decision points quite to the contrary", - the Georgian Foreign Ministry writes. By the way the Russian diplomats' mood was quite the same reproaching the Georgian authorities for political persecution of RIA Novosti head in Tbilisi.
Georgian Foreign Ministry also points out that "Russian citizens used to and still enjoy the right to enter the territory of Georgia through legitimate border checkpoints without any hindrance or artificially created obstacles" remarking off the mark: "and those expressing concern over the decreasing use of the Russian language, should seek the reason in themselves».