Russia and Georgia reopen border crossing

Russia and Georgia have re-established a border crossing for the first time since breaking off diplomatic relations after the August 2008 conflict in the Caucasus.

The border checkpoint, known as Kazbegi – Verhniy Lars, has undergone major renovation and resumed its work early Monday.

Sergey Dorofeev, Head of Russia’s border control at the Federal Security Services, says the repair work would ensure thorough and speedy checks, RIA Novosti agency reports.

Switzerland was actively involved in the negotiation process. Travelers will have to apply for visas in advance at Swiss embassies in Tbilisi and Moscow.

Earlier this year, Russia and Georgia briefly reopened air links for the holiday season, but permanent services have not yet been resumed.