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Mountain pass between Georgia & Russia to reopen

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Mountain pass between Georgia & Russia to reopen


Relations may be about to warm up again between Russia and Georgia with news from Swiss-brokered peace talks.

The Verkhny Lars border crossing between the two countries is to reopen in March for the first time since 2006, easing travel between Moscow and the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

It is the only major road between Georgia and Russia that does not go through the rebel regions of South Osettia and Abkhazia.

“Georgian citizens and Georgian transport are eligible to cross the border. It means that this point will not only be opened for transit purposes and will not only serve our neighbour’s interests, but also the interests of Georgian citizens,” said Georgia’s deputy foreign minister.

This week a Georgian airline asked for permission to resume flights to Moscow, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met Georgian opposition leaders in Moscow. He expressed regret at last weekend’s demolition of a Soviet-era WWII memorial in Georgia, and offered to rebuild it in Moscow. Georgia sent the Red army 700,000 men to fight the Nazis, and a third died during the stuggle. A grateful Russia then built the monument.

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