The messenger logo

Students are still unable to cross the occupation line to take university exams

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, July 4
Thirteen students are still unable to leave Georgia’s Russian occupied Abkhazia region and sit university exams on Tbilisi-controlled territory, as de facto leadership decided to close the only checkpoint connecting the area with the rest of Georgia on June 27, ‘because of security threats” coming from Tbilisi protests.

“172 of 185 students registered for the exams from the occupied regions are already on Tbilisi-controlled territory and are taking part in the exams,” Georgian Reconciliation Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili said.

She stated that the Georgian government “has used all communication levers” to help the students attend the exams.

Tsikhelashvili vowed that none of the students from the occupied regions will be left without high education thanks to the Georgian government peace initiative “A Step Towards a Better Future.”

“Free training centres have been opened for university entrants from the occupied regions in Tbilisi and Zugdidi. After completing the training, they will be enrolled in universities without taking the exams. The government will cover accommodation expenses and give them the scholarship of 150 GEL,” Tsikhelashvili stated.

One of the students severely cut his hand when trying to jump over the occupation line on Tuesday, while he and others were trying to take exams with the use of alternative, dangerous routes.

It remains unknown when the checkpoint is reopened.

“There are mass protest rallies of a provocative character underway in Georgia, which affect the statehood of the Republic of Abkhazia,” de facto Abkhazian leadership stated on June 27.

Tbilisi condemns the steps saying that such measures create “severe humanitarian situation in the region.”

Russia recognised Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as independent states after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

Only Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru and Syria have done so.

The rest of the international community says that Russia is occupying the regions.