Georgia and Russia to reopen road traffic border

By bne IntelliNews August 16, 2013

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Georgia and Russia have agreed to re-open their border to passenger and cargo road transportation for the first time since before the August 2008 war, in a further sign that relations between the two countries are normalising.

The Georgian economics ministry announced on August 15 that the border will reopen to road traffic. The move was agreed at a meeting between officials from the Russian transportation ministry and the Georgian ministry of economy and sustainable development in Moscow on August 6-7.

Restrictions were placed on transport between the two countries in 2006, two years before war broke out over the separatist Georgian republic of South Ossetia. Although a border checkpoint reopened in March 2010, regular automobile traffic has not yet resumed, according to RIA Novosti.

However, since the Georgian Dream coalition's victory in the October parliamentary elections, relations between the two countries have been thawing. That has seen vital Georgian exports to its large neighbour resume.

In June, Georgia's Dugladze winery exported its first shipment to Russia in seven years, after a long-standing ban was lifted. Two other wine producers, Alaverdi and Teliani Veli, have also been given the go ahead to start exports.

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