A mountain pass between Georgia and Russia has reopened in a rare sign of cooperation between the former Soviet neighbours.
The Verkhny Lars border crossing is effectively the only land frontier as the others run through the Russian-backed rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Analysts say the decision to reopen the border is more economic than political, benefitting mainly traders from Russia’s landlocked economic ally Armenia.
Moscow closed the crossing in 2006 as relations soured with Georgia’s pro-Western government, climaxing in a five-day war two years ago when Russia crushed Georgia’s assault on South Ossetia.
As a result of the conflict Russia cut air links with Georgia and Tbilisi severed diplomatic ties.
Several charter flights between the two countries have been operating since the start of the year although full air links have yet to resume.
Georgia reopens border crossing with Russia