Russian citizen detained in Georgia for having visited Abkhazia

Georgia’s borderguard service on Monday said it detained a Russian citizen over illegal entry into Abkhazia, which Tbilisi considers part of its sovereign territory.

“Russian citizen Bella Vekua who illegally entered Abkhazia through [a checkpoint on] Psou River on September 17, 2010, was detained on March 29,” the press service said. It did not say where Vekua was detained.

A case for violating Georgia’s law on occupied territories has been opened against Vekua. If found guilty, she may be fined or be kept behind bars for between two and four years.

After the 2008 war with Russia Georgia enacted a controversial law on occupied territories which makes it a criminal offence to enter Abkhazia or South Ossetia without the prior permission of the Georgian government.