Russia, Georgia to resume sea links on March 27
A Russian passenger steamship will travel from the Black Sea port of Sochi to Georgia's Batumi for the first time in more than a year on March 27, the Sochi port director said on Wednesday. ( RIA Novosti)
"The Mikhail Svetlov steamer is set for departure at 6 p.m. [local time]," Simon Mamaladze said.
Moscow imposed a transportation and postal blockade on the Caucasus state in October 2006 in apparent retaliation for the detention on espionage charges of four Russian army officers. Russian officials cited commercial reasons, but Tbilisi called the move politically motivated.
On Tuesday the countries resumed air flights between Tbilisi and Moscow and an Airzena flight landed at Moscow's Domodedovo airport at 7:52 p.m. local time (4:52 p.m. GMT).
Despite the restoration of sea and air links, tensions remain high between Moscow and Tbilisi. The Georgian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the Russian parliament's recent statement on the recognition of Georgia's breakaway republics was direct interference in the country's internal affairs.
Last Friday, the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, proposed that the president and the government consider the issue of whether to recognize the independence of Georgia's breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.