Saturday 24th of August 2019, 17:45 CET
Ferry traffic resumes between Abkhazia and Russia
July 31, 2003
RFE/RL Russia

Written by Liz Fuller
Posted by HW on August 24, 2019

Ten years
For the first time in 10 years, a passenger ferry raised anchor on 26 July en route from the Abkhaz capital, Sukhum, to the Russian port of Sochi, Interfax
reported. The ferry is registered in Panama and sails under the Bolivian flag. The Abkhaz Prime Minister Raul Khadjimba told journalists it will bring Russian tourists to Abkhazia.

Georgia threat
The Georgian newspaper "Tribuna" on 28 July quoted Georgian State Border Department Chairman Valeri Chkheidze as warning that if the Georgian Coast Guard encounters such vessels, it will impound them. Khadjimba also told journalists on 26 July that talks are under way with the Georgian government on the return of a cargo of some 25,000 passports that was being transported by a Turkish merchant ship to Sukhum.

Who's in control?
Valeri Chkheidze, director of Georgia's State Border Guard Service, told Caucasus Press on 29 July that his men fully control the territorial waters of the unrecognized Republic of Abkhazia. But Abkhaz Defense Minister Vyacheslav Eshba told journalists in Sukhum the same day that Abkhaz frontier guards control Abkhazia's territorial waters, Caucasus Press reported.

Official Protests
On 29 July, the Georgian Foreign Ministry delivered a formal protest note to the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi in connection with the resumption of a ferry service between the Russian Black Sea port of Sochi and the Abkhaz capital, Sukhum, Caucasus Press reported. The note called for "drastic measures to prevent illegal marine communication" between the two ports. On 30 July, Georgian Foreign Minister Irakli Menagharishvili termed the resumption of ferry communication "an act of piracy," Caucasus Press reported.

Russia rejects criticism
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on 30 July rejecting a protest by its Georgian counterpart against the resumption of ferry traffic. The
Russian statement noted that the ferry docked in Sochi in compliance with international procedures and its crew produced the required documentation.
 
Countries:
 
Places:
Sochi (Russia) City
 
Related topic(s):
News
Travel
Background
History
Login
Name
Password
 
Search
Countries/Regions
Places
Persons
Local Time
20:45
18:45
18:45
20:45
18:45
Russia [BlackSea]
19:45
18:45
18:45
  [Disclaimer] [Comments] [© 2002-2003 blacksea.free.fr]