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IMO responded to the note of the Foreign Ministry of Georgia2010-04-02 17:53
According to the Foreign Ministry of Georgia, the International Maritime Organization to the Note, sent on March 5th.gt-en-newsitem-inside
"The Organization has officially notified the member states of the illegality of shipping in the territorial sea of Abkhazia, Georgia without the consent of the Georgian authorities and of possible sanctions from the Georgian side in case of such illegal shipping," the statement says.
The Note sent in March concerned the inadmissibility of shipping of foreign vessels in the Territorial waters on the segment of Abkhazia.
"The Note indicates that Abkhazia is an integral part of Georgia, whichh is presently occupied by the Russian Federation," the Ministry explains. "Territorial integrity of Georgia is recognized by the international community and therefore, any attempt of illegal shipping to Abkhazia, Georgia is considered as a breach of the basic norms and principles of international law", it adds. "he Note also makes a reference to the domestic legislation of Georgia, in particular, it emphasizes that in compliance with the Georgian Constitution, Georgian higher state bodies have the exclusive competence to administer the status and protection of territorial waters. Besides, pursuant to the Law of Georgia on the Maritime Space of Georgia, the outer limit of Georgian territorial sea is the State Border of Georgia and therefore, any vessel crossing or attempting to cross the state border of Georgia without passing through the border checkpoint shall be considered as a violator of the state border of Georgia and shall be subject to respective sanctions.
The Note also underlines that according to Decree 140 of the President of Georgia of 31 January 1996 and Decree 313 of the President of Georgia of 3 August 2004, the territorial sea of Abkhazia, Georgia is closed for all kinds of maritime transport. According to the Note, Georgia reserves the right to take all appropriate measures in order to prevent and punish infringement of the national and international law by vessels illegally shipping to Abkhazia, Georgia," the statement explains.
Previously the State Duma [lower chamber of the Russian parliament] ratified agreements with South Ossetia and Abkhazia on joint guarding of the two regions. According to these, Russia will guard their borders until the regions form own bodies for this purpose.
The agreements were singed by presidents of Russia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia on April 30th 2009.
Interagency agreements between FSS of Russia, and also between State Security Service and Committee for State Security of South.
In accordance with these agreements, both states temporarily delegate Russia authorities for guarding their borders, Abkhazia - on guarding sea borders as well. The states claim the agreeemtns are not directed against third countries.