RUSSIA, GEORGIA REOPEN MOUNTAIN BORDER CROSSING

Xinhua
March 1 2010
China

MOSCOW, March 1 (Xinhua) -- A mountain border crossing between Georgia
and Russia was reopened early Monday, in a rare sign of easing tensions
between the two former Soviet republics, Russian media reported.

>From March 1 to Nov. 1, the Verkhny Lars (Russia) - Kazbegi (Georgia)
border crossing, the only one on the Georgian-Russian border, will
be open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Alexander Solod, a spokesman
for the Federal Security Service border department for North Ossetia,
told reporters.

"All Georgian and Russian citizens who want to cross the border via
these checkpoints will have to get visas in the section of Russian
interests at the Swiss embassy in Tbilisi and the section of Georgian
interests at the Swiss embassy in Moscow," the Itar-Tass news agency
quote the Georgian Foreign Ministry as saying.

The border crossing on the Caucasus Mountains had been closed since
mid-2006 by Russia as the relations between the two countries got
strained.

Russia shut down the Verkhny Lars checkpoint on July 8, 2006 citing
reasons for repairs, and announced the completion of repair works
last May.

The border crossing currently has a daily capacity of 900 vehicles
with 12 traffic lanes.

Russia and Georgia agreed to reopen the border crossing last year.

The resumption of the traffic would greatly benefit the bilateral
trade between Armenia and Russia, since the only road from Armenia
to Russia lies through the two checkpoints, said the Itar-Tass.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress