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Checkpoint controls remain for Georgia's Russia-bound traffic

August 16, 2013, 15:05 UTC+3

Until 2012, the visa regime was applied to both Russian and Georgian nationals

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VLADILAVKAZ, August 16 (Itar-Tass) - Traffic movement from Georgia to Russia is still subject to controls at the Verkhny Lars checkpoint on the Georgian Military Highway.

In 2012, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili unilaterally cancelled visas for Russians entering Georgia through Vernkny Lars. No information about cancellation of visa requirements for the Georgian nationals has come yet, an officer from the Federal Security Service’s North Ossetian border department told Tass on Friday.

The checkpoint was reopened after reconstruction in March 2010. Until 2012, the visa regime was applied to both Russian and Georgian nationals.

The checkpoint's 12 lanes currently operate at high capacity. “All in all, 2,300 vehicles have moved through it over the past 24 hours in both directions,” officer Alexander Solod said, adding that 1,100 vehicles moved into Russia and 1,200 into Georgia. He added that on certain days, the number of vehicles crossing the border reached 6,000, half of them being trucks.

Because of difficulties Georgian citizens face in obtaining Russian visas, unless invitations from relatives or humanitarian trips are involved, road haulage from Georgia is carried out mainly by Armenian and Azerbaijani carriers who do not need a Russian visa.

This year, Georgia has received from Russia permission for the entry of 500 vehicles carrying cargo to Russia and via its territory.

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