Georgia claims Russia grabbed Abkhazia land

Tbilisi says Moscow moved Russia’s border line 11km deeper into Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia.

Russian diplomat shot dead in Abkhazia
Russian officials have not confirmed the border move [File: AP]

Georgia has accused Moscow of moving Russia’s border with Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia deeper into the disputed territory ahead of the Winter Olympic Games in nearby Sochi.

The Foreign Ministry of Georgia said in a statement on Tuesday that it was deeply concerned “over the decision of the Russian Federation and its occupation regime in Abkhazia, which provides for the illegal expansion of the so-called border zone 11km deeper into Georgia’s territory.”

It said the move would last until March 21 when the Paralympic Games that follow the general Winter Olympics event conclude in Russia’s Black Sea resort.

Russian officials have not confirmed the border move.

Russia-Georgia conflict

Georgia and Russia went to war in August 2008 over South Ossetia, which along with Abkhazia split from Georgia after the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991,

The 2008 conflict resulted in Russia recognising both breakaway regions as independent countries and stationing thousand of troops there in what Tbilisi considers a de facto occupation.

Meanwhile, Moscow battles against North Caucasian armed groups who are seeking their own independent state.

The fighters vowed not to allow President Vladimir Putin to hold Winter Olympics in Sochi which they say belongs to Circassia that has been occupied by Russia as part of North Caucasus.

Russia has previously accused Georgia of assisting the North Caucasus rebels, but Tbilisi has denied the allegations and pledged to cooperate with Moscow over security for the Games.

Moscow has beefed up security around Sochi, which lies about 10km from the border with Abkhazia.

Source: AFP