Georgian government to change law on occupied territories
Georgia, Tbilisi, Feb. 7 /Trend, N. Kirtskhalia/
The Georgian government is going to change its law on occupied territories, State Minister for Reintegration Paata Zakareishvili told journalists after a governmental meeting on Thursday.
He said according to the current law, foreign nationals who enter Georgia through Abkhazia and South Ossetia are immediately detained.
"Criminal cases are initiated against them and they serve sentences in Georgian prisons. We consider this is unfair, as many citizens of Azerbaijan and Armenia returning home through Georgia were imprisoned," Zakareishvili said.
He stressed that the new law requires punishment for the first time violators of the law, which does not allow visits to Abkhazia and South Ossetia in a manner not agreed upon with the government.
"If the violation is repeated, criminal case will be initiated," he said.
Today, the Georgian Government approved this proposal.
Large scale military actions were launched in South Ossetia in Georgia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military. Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia late in August. Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow in response and has declared the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.