Georgia: Olympic guests must not visit Abkhazia
TBILISI, Georgia (AP) -- Georgia has demanded that visitors to the Winter Olympic Games keep out of a breakaway territory that is just a few miles south of Sochi, the Russian city where the games are being held.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that Olympic visitors should keep out of Abkhazia, a territory that declared independence shortly after Russian forces crushed the Georgian army in a brief 2008 war. The statement called Russia's attempts to facilitate travel across its border with Abkhazia, only five kilometers (three miles) south of Olympic venues, a "provocation."
While Abkhazia and another breakaway region, South Ossetia, remain sticking points in restoring diplomatic relations between Georgia and Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that he would be willing to meet with his Georgian counterpart.