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Georgian MIA has made a “storm” warning2010-04-07 00:17
Russian military officials made no response to the note of the Georgian MFA about Ganmukhuri. However, yesterday, President of Russia Dmitriy Medvedev ratified the agreement with Abkhazia on the protection of its borders, including the sea borders, which fact confirms Moscow's intention to keep maintaining control over the Abkhazian water area.
It should be noted that the Georgian administration mentioned the Russian cutters' presence in the Abkhaz territory as something absolutely casual. Let us remind you that the Black Sea fleet ships have been protecting the Abkhaz shore for half a year already. They have to defend the ships delivering goods to the republic that has been recognized by only three world countries.
Last year, Georgia made several arrests of the ships, guided by its law "On the occupied territories". According to the law, Sukhum has no right to trade with other countries without Tbilisi's approval. For instance, Turkish tanker Buket heading for Abkhazia was arrested in August. The captain of the tanker was sentenced by the court of Poti to 24 years of imprisonment at first, which punishment was later on replaced by a fine by the Court of Appeal of Kutaisi.
The situation in the neutral Abkhaz waters got stable only as soon as Russian cutters of the Sobol and Mangust type, as well as the Novorossijsk gunnery patrol ship appeared in the Abkhazian Ochamchira. The Georgian "piracy", as Tbilisi's actions were characterized by President of Abkhazia Sergey Bagapsh, has been put an end to.
Do the statements made by the Georgian MFA mean that the country has put up with the situation at sea? Not at all: one of these days, it gained the support of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), so navigating the Abkhaz water area without Tbilisi's permission will now be subject to punishment.
In its appeal to IMO, Georgian external administration underlined that Abkhazia is "an integral part of Georgia", which "sovereignty and territorial integrity" are recognized by the world community.
The note cited the Georgia law "On maritime area", specifying that the external border of the territorial waters is Georgia's state frontier, so any vessel attempting to cross the border is regarded as a state frontier violator. The note also cited the president's orders as of 31 January 1996 and 3 August 2004, on which grounds the Abkhaz territorial waters were announced to be closed for maritime traffic.
According to the information provided by the official Tbilisi, IMO has already sent a relevant circular letter to all the organization members containing a warning about the sanctions that were established by Georgia.