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Russia to scour Abkhazian waters for Georgian ships

Published: 16 September, 2009, 16:03
Edited: 21 November, 2009, 10:25

(8.0Mb) embed video

TAGS: Conflict, Nuclear, Georgia, Russia

Russian border guards patrolling the Black Sea will be detaining ships from Georgia trespassing in Abkhazian waters.

“In the event of a violation of the border, we will act in accordance with the law. If we are in charge of protecting the border, we make detentions and take appropriate measures,” Viktor Trufanov from the Russian Federal Security Service told journalists on Tuesday.

“We will do everything we can to ensure the security of the Russian state and the security of the Abkhaz state. We have a task and we will accomplish it. You can be sure of that. But the border guard service is not going to destroy [any ships],” he added.

Earlier, the FSB frontier service announced that Russian and Abkhazian guards will be providing security for ships in Abkhazia’s territorial waters to prevent detention by Georgia.

“According to the International Convention on Maritime Law, only the territory of 12 nautical miles from the border of any state belongs to its territorial waters,” Professor Aleksandr Nikitin of the Moscow State Institute for International Affairs explains.

“This is why, when we speak about protection of Abkhazian waters, we only mean the trespassing within this quite narrow strip of water. All in all, if any kind of blockade will be organized by the Georgian side, the Russian navy will assist Abkhazians in opening their territorial waters for international access,” Nikitin added.

In the latest development, the Georgian Foreign Ministry declared that the country will not allow Russia to detain its ships in Abkhazian waters.

“The Georgian side confirms that it intends to stop the pirate actions of the Russian side with existing legal, diplomatic and political means,” the ministry statement said.

It also pointed out that according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 12 miles of Abkhazia’s sea zone, special economic zone and continental shelf belong to Georgia.

“The statement of the Russian side has once again indicated that Russia continues its policy of disrupting international law norms and principles, as well as its international obligations,” the statement added.

In summer this year, Georgia detained and later released the Panamanian-flagged Turkish tanker, Buket, which was en route from Turkey to Abkhazia carrying 2,000 tons of diesel oil.

Georgia considers Abkhazia a part of its territory. It sees the delivery of cargoes to the republic without its permission as illegal.

According to a border agreement between Russia and Abkhazia, it implies a joint effort by the two countries to ensure the security of Abkhazia’s territorial waters.

Also, on Tuesday, Russia signed additional agreements with the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, under which Russia will be building military bases and training troops on their territory.

The new deal is aimed at strengthening the defense of both Russia and the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russia will send up to 1,700 of its troops to each of the republics.

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BOO November 20, 2009, 22:23

The old RUSSIAN BEAR is starting to emerge from his long sleep. It wouldn't come as a surprise if he lets out a half hearted roar, sooner or later, and scares the Georgians out of their wits.

Bill September 19, 2009, 14:17

Hello to our Russian friends. I would like to say that most of the British people felt they where tricked by the Georgian president when he blamed Russia for the recent problems between Russia and Georgia. Georgia clearly attempted to use the force of the US as a tool against Russia and this nearly worked. The fact is the British people have the greatest admiration for the Russian people and have had since WW2. We have fought the same battles in the past and we may fight alongside again in the future. The USA is our allie and has been for many years. The USA will protect Georgia and their weopons are superior to most others. The USA would never attack Russia unless Russia attacked Georgia for no reason. This is unlikely to happen and therfor the USA will not become a problem to Russia. It is a great shame there is this refit between Russia and the USA because for most of the time both your countries believe in the same things. When we in England see your people onTV you are very similar to us and we would hope to make better friends of the Russian people in the future. I have heard your country may be going back to Afghanistan and if that is true we from the United Kingdom welcome you once again as allies with open arms. Kindest regards to you all so many miles away from us. Bill

sean September 16, 2009, 20:09

Ya b/c the mighty Russian navy is doing everything they can to combat the pirates. Mentioning the pirates was a little off topic.