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Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence

International recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence began on August 26, 2008 when the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev recognized the two breakaway Georgian provinces amidst the ceasefire during the 2008 South Ossetia war and appealed to all other countries to follow this step.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia have unilaterally proclaimed independence from the Georgian SSR and Georgia several times since 1990 and have recognized each other since November 17, 2006.

Statements on the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Abkhazia to close border with Georgia

Abkhazia has closed its border with the Georgia following recent bomb blasts. Abkhaz officials accuse Georgia of being responsible. Several people have been injured in the blasts which occurred today and on Sunday when two bombs exploded in Gagra. Today’s blast happened in Sukhumi, the region’s capital.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia after the early 1990s war when separatists defeated Georgian forces and commenced a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia.

The region’s foreign minister said, “Georgia’s aim is to destabilize the economic situation in Abkhazia, they want to drive tourists away that’s are our main source of revenue. We have already caught several Georgians in similar circumstances.”

Georgian authorities have denied any involvement in the bomb blasts. Shota Utiashvili ,an interior ministry spokesman, said, “It will be a humanitarian catastrophe if the border is closed. Thousands of Georgians in Abkhazia cross the border to get pensions, do their shopping and work”.

Russia, which is said to support the separatist forces, have peacekeeping troops within the region but this has been described as an occupying force by Georgia and Russia accused of trying to take over the region by stealth. The border will be shut from tomorrow as security in the region is tightened.

Abkhazia is a region in Georgia that is a de facto independent republic, with no international recognition. It is located within the internationally recognized borders of Georgia on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and borders the Russian Federation to the north. Under Georgia’s official subdivision, it is an autonomous republic , with Sukhumi as its capital, bordering the region of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti to the east.