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Administrative border crossing might be restricted in Akhalgori

By Mzia Kupunia
Tuesday, June 15
Starting from this week Russian border officers deployed at the administrative border with Akhalgori will only let people registered as residents of Akhalgori cross the 'border', Interpressnews has reported, citing local residents.

“If you are not registered in Akhalgori and do not have a relevant document, they will not let you cross the administrative border. The Russian occupiers say that chaos at the administrative border is the reason,” the news agency quoted local residents as saying. Until now any citizen of Georgia has been able to cross the administrative border in the Akhalgori region after providing Georgian identity documents translated into Russian and approved by a notary.

The Chairman of Akhalgori's local council, Avto Kochishvili, said that the restrictions at the administrative border have not yet been imposed. “We have received information that the Russian border officers have warned the local population about this, however today anyone has been able to enter Akhalgori with IDs translated into Russian,” Kochishvili told The Messenger. “We do not know when the new rules will come into force,” he added.

Meanwhile residents of Akhalgori reported on Monday that Ossetians have removed a cross erected at Ikoti Monastery in Akhalgori. “The cross was put up close to a place where the Russians are planning to build a military aerodrome. The Ossetians demanded that the monks to remove the cross, but they refused, so the Ossetians removed the cross with a tractor,” Interpressnews quoted locals as saying. Russian officials are planning to build their aerodrome 300 metres from Ikoti Monastery.

Georgian officials from Shida Kartli and the Akhalgori region said they do not possess any information about the removal of the cross at the monastery.