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TBILISI, April 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Georgia said on Thursday it has terminated the Open skies agreement with Russia because of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The foreign ministry said Russia “has been undertaking attempts since 2010 to use the agreement to legalize the so-called independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In particular, Russia uses for its benefit the provision banning surveillance flights closer than 10 kilometers to the state border of countries that are not parties to the agreement. Moscow views Abkhazia and South Ossetia as such countries.”
“It is clear that the Russian Federation cannot unilaterally change the borders of the agreement by recognizing new objects on the territory of a member-state,” the ministry said adding Georgia had complied with its commitments “on the basis of goodwill” and called on Russia to follow suit.
The ministry said Georgia will not allow any surveillance flights with Russian participation over its territory and will not make such flights over the Russian territory. The decision may be reversed only after Russia fully complies with its Open skies commitments.