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Abkhazia’s lucky seven2009-10-02 15:40
From now on Abkhazia's phone numbers are switched over to Russian codes. Now it's possible to phone there bypassing Georgian operators practically from anywhere except for Georgia. Tbilisi protests and threatens to address the UN. As GeorgiaTimes found out, Sukhum is happy about new political and economic advantage of the novelty.
From now on Abkhazia starts using Russian telephone codes for fixed and mobile communication. Now it will be easier and cheaper to phone from Russia with a better quality of connection dialing 840 for wired phones or 940 plus the number of a specific cellular operator. Calling from abroad +7 should be dialed.
The memorandum between RF Ministry of Communications and Abkhaz government was signed on September 28. It also stipulates creation of postal communication with the republic. is Moscow's assistance in radio control system set up is a separate issue.
Abkhazia is going to change over to the new code within two weeks. Concurrently the Georgian dialing scheme with 995 code will be valid till the end of this year.
Georgia is furious about a new attack on its telecom positions and is going to appeal to the UN.
Before that South Ossetia and Abkhazia welcomed the arrival of Russian cell operators. At first they were discreet but then they confirmed their presence in the republic. Megafon Spokesperson Tatiana Zvereva said in March 2009 the company had purchased 100% share of Debton Investment offshore company that owns 51% of AquaPhone GSM shares.
It was the reason why in early September the Georgian National Communications Commission imposed a 600 thousand dollar fine on Megafon - for the third time already. The company is accused of violation of the General Administrative Code of Georgia.
MegaFon doesn't turn a hair making no comments on Tbilisi's statement. By the way the Georgian media are bewildered at the fact that Swedish-Finnish Telia Sonera - Megafon's major shareholder and Jeocell (Georgia) owner is not against actions of the Russian cell operator. The Georgians also failed to involve international instances to put a halt on "telecom separatism".
Now Georgia is again going to seek protection abroad. As the country's Foreign Ministry stated "the Russian Federation's assignment of the right to use its own country calling codes to Abkhazia contradicts the standards developed by the International Telecommunication Union.", - a specialized agency of the United Nations". "The Georgian side urges respective UN authorities to prevent the aforesaid illegal actions of the Russian Federation.", - the Foreign Ministry states.