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Russia Urges Georgia to Scrap Occupied Territories Law (06.06.13)

Moscow insists that Georgia revoke a law on occupied territories, a Russian deputy foreign minister said Wednesday.

Grigory Karasin said the law remains a serious problem as it affects the security of Russian tourists in Georgia.

The law establishes criminal liability for visiting the disputed regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The abolition of the law would “create a favorable environment for cultural exchanges, above all for tourist trips,” Karasin said after negotiations with Zurab Abashidze, Georgia’s point man for relations with Russia.

Tbilisi passed the Law on Occupied Territories in October 2008, declaring the "Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia" and the "Tskhinvali Region (former South Ossetia Autonomous Region)" to be "occupied territories." The law forbids entry into the regions from Russia and subjects violators to a fine or imprisonment.

On August 8, 2008 at 23:26 local time the capital of South Ossetia got under bombardment and shelling. Georgia violated all arrangements and given promises, and committed a treacherous wide-scale military aggression. An avalanche of rockets and shells fell down from the night sky on the quietly sleeping southern city with a population of about 40,000 people.