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A submarine at the foot of Caucasian hills2009-09-24 23:55
Can anyone imagine the Somali pirates applying to The Hague International Court to complain about impairment of their rights when other states having decided to cut short maritime banditry and establish order in the international sea communications send their warships to the piracy region? Such thing can hardly be imagined but the Georgian authorities are an exception to the rule.
As is known, for several years, the Georgian coastal guard has been pirating in the Abkhazian water zone of the Black Sea without being punished, covering its actions by the Georgian authorities' resolutions about the sea blockade of the unrecognized republic.
As soon as the Russian Federation recognized the independence of Abkhazia, and Moscow and Sukhum signed an agreement on the joint protection of the land and sea frontiers of this Caucasian republic, the order in the Abkhazian territorial waters is maintained by a division of Russian patrol boats that is going to be dislocated in Ochamchira. The presence of both land and sea Russian troops in Abkhazia is based upon the federal laws on ratification of the Treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance signed between the Russian Federation, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On the whole, up to 10 border guard vessels will be based in Ochamchira. The division will also be supplied with border guard cutters of the Sobol and Mangust types.
It was patrol ship Novorossijsk that was the first to start patrolling the Abkhazian water zone. Besides, one-hundred percent radiolocation coverage of the sea zone for major and medium targets will be also set up in Abkhazia.
Georgia regards controlling the water borders of the new republic as violation of the international standards. The situation was discussed in the Georgian parliament, which came to the idea of filing a lawsuit with the International Maritime Court in Hamburg. Such decision was taken during the joint meeting of the parliamentary committees, United Transport Administration and the Georgian MFA representatives.
Yet, it is difficult to foretell what real shape it will take, for neither Russia, nor Abkhazia has ever arrested or confiscated any Georgian vessels or any vessels flying a foreign flag, as Georgia does basing upon a decision of some refugee court of Sukhum or Gagra. Since the beginning of the year, Georgia has detained over 20 vessels heading towards the shores of Abkhazia. When Mekhmet Ozturk, captain of the Turkish vessel Buket that was carrying 2 thousand tons of petrol and 700 tons of diesel oil to Abkhazia flying the flag of Panama was sentenced to 24 years of imprisonment the Abkhazian authorities decided to switch to more dynamic actions.