MOSCOW, September 30 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has decided to make adjustments to the border zone in the Greater Sochi area. It has excluded from it some areas and towns where the 2014 Olympics’ guests and participants may be staying during the Games, the Izvestia daily writes.
Thus, the restrictions, usually existing in the border areas, will not apply to them. And some locations in Sochi, including popular tourist destinations, on the contrary, have been included in the border zone.
The border regime makes life difficult for both tourists and locals - they have to apply for travel permission to the local border guard detachment. Thus, under the FSB order No 515, tourists in the border zone must follow only the routes of the tour operator, coordinated with the local border authority.
Also, taking pictures of the territory of a neighboring state and “border guarding facilities,” talking to people who are in the territory of a neighboring state is prohibited in the border zone without the written permission of the authorities. It is prohibited to other “persons in the border zone to fire in the direction of the territory” of the neighbors.
Administrative responsibility and a fine from 100 to 500 rubles are imposed for the violation of the rules of stay in the border zone. The fine imposed for the conduct of business or hunting in such a zone without permission is from 3,000 to 5,000 rubles.
However, the law gives the local authorities the right to request the FSB to exclude from the border zone “separate residential areas,” the territories of “holiday centers, health resorts, cultural facilities, as well as places of public entertainment, worship.” So, Sochi authorities have used this right.