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Escalation at the Black Sea2009-09-02 23:11
President of Abkhazia Sergey Bagapsh gave an order to bring down fire on the Georgian ships trespassing the sea border of the republic. His order is the outcome of the story with the sea vessels that were detained by the Georgian border guards on their way to Abkhazia. In response to severe punishment of the captain of the Turkish tanker Buket by the Georgian court, Sukhum threatened Tbilisi to detain the ships going to Georgia. Political experts are following the events and give their recommendations.
After Moscow's promise given to Sukhum to provide assistance on the sea in the context of the joint border control agreement, as well as after the statement made by Head of the Abkhaz MFA Sergey Shamba that Tbilisi by its actions is pressing the young republic to take relevant measures and, finally, after the answer given by the Georgian MFA, the situation in the Black Sea waters has reached its climax. The Georgian foreign policy administration made a statement expressing its readiness to "protect its sea area and cut short Russia's actions on the sea. The point is that the conflicting parties have got a different approach towards the problem. Georgia does not recognize the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while Russia has recognized the
independence of these South-Caucasian republics and is building relationship with them as with the subjects of international law.
That is why, Tbilisi thinks that the Russian escort of the ships entering the neutral waters is nothing but "violation of the domestic Georgian law and international law standards", Interfax reports. At the same time, head of the parliamentary committee on restoring Georgia's "territorial integrity" Shota Malashkhia stated that any ship trespassing the Georgian offshore zone will be detained. "Our physical capabilities are limited in a way but they are increasing day by day, and the number of arrests is going to be practically one hundred percent", KM.ru is citing.
Moscow answered immediately. The ships of the Russian Black Sea fleet basing in the Abkhaz port of Ochamchira were made fully operational, as Russian Press Service reports. Base command is already taking relevant measures: concentration of forces, individual patrolling; all the ships have changed routes and are following each other. Moreover, tracking stations and firing stations are ready to open fire within two minutes, while the ships are keeping constant radio communication with the base and each other.