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Frontier: a Georgian affair2010-08-30 18:12
Georgia has got a new kind of entertainment: putting Russians and Armenians under arrest and then demanding recompense for illegal frontier crossing to replenish the state budget. The amount of the so-called fine varies from 5 to 25 thousand dollars, and that is all because of the stamps made by Abkhaz and South-Ossetian border guards in these citizens' passports. The scale of the "Georgian fray" has been limited to the top authorities' debate, while now a kind of "blockade" is developing among the common people as well.
Even taking these circumstances into consideration, Mikheil Saakashvili keeps asserting that he regards Georgians, Russians and Armenians as brotherly nations. How can one keep from calling him demon-possessed, now? He is a true demon, rushing to set up "liberal" reforms in the spot touched by a hot stick.
Thus, a law relating to the current situation has been already cooked by the Georgian government. It is loudly called the law "On the occupied territories", stating that any visit to Abkhazia or South Ossetia by-passing the official customs stations and border points is regarded as an offence, and that's it. So, if you want to come to the wedding of your relatives living in Georgia and you have been to a "breakaway" region before that, welcome to "Kolyma", or, in other words, to Khatuna Kalmakhelidze's, who will take you behind the latticed face where officials will kindly ask you to "cross their palm with silver".
Georgian law-enforcement authorities announce their actions to be legal, pointing at the fact that all international diplomatic administrations, including Russian ones, are informed about it. However, such things never happened before, so one might talk about a precedent on the part of Tbilisi.
But what is to become of those who got to prison by negligence or ignorance and what should others do who don't want to break the transborder communication in the territory of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia?
Alexander Karavayev, Deputy Director General for MSU Information and Analytical Center, believes that the possible way out for Russian citizens is the entrance to the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia with a regular passport clear of any stamps. As for Georgia, one should have a foreign passport with no marks that might place the border guards in the necessity of prohibiting the entrance to the country: