Friday, December 29, 2006

Mountain Borderland Restrictions in Chechnya

Via Prague Watchdog [my tr.]

Borderland in Chechen mountains can only be reached with FSB’s permission

By Ruslan Isayev

CHECHNYA, December 29 - From now on it will only be possible to visit Chechen mountain villages located along the border with Georgia with special passes issued by the Federal Security Service (FSB). This was announced at a press conference given on December 27 by Andrei Sergeyev, director of the FSB border guard service for the Chechen Republic.

According to Sergeyev, the passes will be issued swiftly and on an individual basis. But violators of the new regime, which came into force at the beginning of December, can expect administrative punishment, and this may include expulsion from the zone.

After obtaining permission, any citizen will be able to stay in the border zone for six months. The residents of the villages concerned will only be able to remain in the zone on presentation of a passport that includes a local residence permit.

The border zone is considered to be the strip of land up to 5 kilometres wide which passes along the Chechen section of the Russia-Georgia state boundary. The section is more than 80 kilometres long.

Translated by David McDuff.

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