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Georgian-Russian border set to reopen

Georgia and Russia have reached a deal in Swiss-brokered talks to reopen a major border crossing.

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said the two sides agreed on Wednesday that the Verkhny Lars transit point would open in March. Russia said “in theory” the crossing should open.

The crossing has been shut for the past three years and is the only major border transit between Russia and Georgia that does not go through the Russian-backed rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Georgia and Russia suspended diplomatic relations after the August 2008 war over South Ossetia and Switzerland has since represented the interests of both countries.

A European Union Commission report found that Georgia instigated the five-day conflict and stated that Russia’s reaction far exceeded the limits of defence. The conflict killed around 850 people and injured thousands more. More than 100,000 civilians fled their homes.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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