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Opening of Russian-Georgian border agreed

The checkpoint on the border between Russia and Georgia will open next spring. The parties came to an agreement following months of negotiations.

The Kazbegi – Verhniy Lars checkpoint between the two countries was closed in 2006 following an espionage row between Moscow and Tbilisi.

Now the parties have agreed to re-open it. The scheduled date is March 1, next year, the Russian border service informed.

The final decision was taken in the Georgian city of Kazbegi and included mediators from the Swiss embassy in Tbilisi.

Earlier in November the media reported that talks on re-opening the border were nearing completion.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that it was Russia’s initiative to open the checkpoint.

“Georgia is our neighbor and the Georgian people are our friends,” the foreign minister declared. “We hope that Georgia will one day have a government which has the best interests of its people at heart and one which the Georgians deserve. It was not our idea to break off diplomatic relations – we never wanted to stop communication between our countries.”

Opening a check point on the Georgian–Russian border as well as other recent measures will have a positive effect on the lives of the peoples of both states, RIA Novosti political analyst Dmitry Babich told RT. 

“There are also plans to reopen direct flights from Tbilisi to Moscow, from Moscow to Tbilisi. These are all good developments,” Babich said.

“Hundreds of thousands of Georgians are living in Russia, working in Russia, they want to visit their relatives. There are fewer Russians, unfortunately, staying in Georgia, but there are also some Russians and they also suffer from the problem with the borders,” he added.