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DRI Reports Alleged Russian Truck Traffic Crossing Enguri River

By Liza Mchedlidze
Friday, March 22, 2024
The Democracy Research Institute reported, according to their sources, that last week there was allegedly active truck traffic with Russian license plates observed crossing the Enguri River into Georgia and back, specifically in the Gali region.

"Some cars were escorted to the Enguri Bridge by vehicles from the State Auto Inspection, also known as GAI, of the de facto Ministry of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia. Additionally, trucks crossed the 'border' checkpoint after 7:00 PM Moscow time, following a ban on movement imposed by both the Russian and Abkhaz sides, primarily affecting residents of the Gali region.

Abkhazia de facto and Russian security services are searching local residents to confirm that they did not capture the movement of these trucks on photo or video material," DRI statement reads.

Democracy Research Institute stated that the meeting between the first deputy speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Giorgi Volski, a leader of the Georgian Dream, and businessman Davit Khidasheli, who has close ties to the Russian government, as well as the subsequent disclosure of their conversation details in the Georgian media, reignited concerns about why the Georgian authorities are turning a blind eye to the movement of cargo to and from Russia through the territory of Abkhazia, which is occupied.

"The leaders of the Georgian Dream may present this negative trend as indicative of the rise of the Georgian economy through increased freight turnover with Russia, or perhaps as a policy aimed at integrating Abkhazia into Georgia. However, common sense prompts us to consider how willing Russia, and even more so its satellite Abkhazia's de facto government, would be to prioritize Georgia's interests.

Obviously, the only logical conclusion here is that the political power in Georgia is guided only by its narrow interests when cooperating with Russia. In this context, a rhetorical question arises: how different is the policy of the Georgian government from the de facto government of Abkhazia, which it labels as a proxy regime of Russia?" DRI stated.