The Georgian Foreign Ministry has stated its protest against Russia’s decision on protection of ships from detention by the Georgian authorities in the “Abkhazian territorial waters”.
Russia decided that the Coast Guard Service of Russia together with the Abkhazian border guards will ensure the safety of those vessels that are in the so-called “territorial waters of Abkhazia”. Russian border guards will protect primarily these vessels from the Georgian Coast Guard. This action violates the Georgian interior legislation and norms of international rights, the ministry stated.
According to the Article of the Constitution of Georgia on the status of state borders, treatment and protection of territorial waters, airspace, continental shelf and exclusive economic zones, its defense belongs only to a special governing of the Georgian supreme state bodies. In addition, in accordance with the article on maritime space, the outer boundary of territorial waters is the Georgian state borders.
Respectively, Russia’s any unauthorized action in the Abkhaz section of the Georgian territorial waters contradicts Georgia’s Constitution.
In addition, Georgia has established the appropriate mode of navigation in the territorial sea of the country and in surrounding areas in accordance with the 1982 U.N convention on maritime law and national legislation and regulations, with the consideration of sovereign rights.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry is protesting Russia’s actions, which only escalates tension. Georgia uses all legal and political means to protect its sovereign rights and suppression of Russia’s self-will, the ministry said.