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Sukhum accuses Georgia of seizing Turkish merchant ships sailing from Abkhazia

July 16, 2013, 19:52 UTC+3

Over the past half-a-year, border agencies of Georgia have three times "illegally seized Turkish ships" sailing from Abkhazia, the Foreign Ministry marked

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SUKHUM, July 16 (Itar-Tass) - The Abkhazian Foreign Ministry demands from Georgia “to stop seizing merchant ships of Turkey that are trading with Sukhum, and illegally arresting their crews in neutral waters of the Black Sea,” a Foreign Ministry statement said on Tuesday.

Over the past half-a-year, border agencies of Georgia have three times “illegally seized Turkish ships” sailing from Abkhazia, the Foreign Ministry marked. These were the Pasha ship seized on July 10 on its way from Sukhum to the Turkish port of Bartin, the Kusva ship seized on May 15 on the same route and the Aidar ship carrying fish flour and oil, seized on March 20 on its way from the Abkhazian port Ochamchira to Turkish Trabzon. “These aggressive actions meant put political and economic pressure on Abkhazia, are aimed at destabilizing the situation in the region,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry considers “illegal seizures of Turkish ships as an act of international piracy and the violation of the principle of freedom of the seas fixed in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982,” the document marked. Sukhum “draws attention of participants in the Geneva discussions to illegal actions of Georgia and urges the international community to influence the Georgian side and take necessary measures to avoid new seizures of merchant ships,” the statement said.

The Foreign Ministry of Abkhazia appeals to the UN Security Council, the OSCE and the European Union “to make an adequate evaluation of unlawful actions by Georgia, which is violating international law”.

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