Amendments to the Georgian Border Management Strategy
Amendments were recently introduced to the Georgian Border Management Strategy , approved by the President on February 4, 2008. The amendments were already published by the Sakanonmdeblo Matsne (online source of the Ministry of Justice).
Part of the February 4, 2008 document about border delimitation and demarcation stated that a state commission is carrying out negotiations with all neighboring countries about state border delimitation and demarcation issues; the Commission has already achieved some progress. 65-65% of borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia have been already marked; as for Russian Federation, the Commission has already ironed out 40% of it.
The corresponding part in the new version of the Georgian Border Management Strategy clarifies that: “71% of the state border with Armenia and 66% of the border with Azerbaijan have already been established and agreed upon. As for our border with Russia, 86% of the border has been agreed on by delimitation commissions and expert groups. In 2008, as a result of military aggression by the Russian Federation, Russia occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region, recognized their independence and neglected the agreements reached on state borders.”
Both the old and new documents indicate that only the state border with Turkey was completely marked and legally registered.
Changes have also been made in the geographic data of the country’s borders. According to the old version of the document, the total length of the Georgian state border is 2 135.5 km; 1 826, 5 km is land border and 309 km sea border.
More precisely, our land border with Russia is 894 kilometers long; with Azerbaijan – 445 kilometers; 224 kilometers with Armenia, and 263, 5 kilometers with Turkey.
According to recent changes, the total length of our border is now 2 148 kilometers; 1 839 kilometers of it are land border and 309 is the coastline.
As for specific numbers, the current document indicates that our border with the Russian Federation is still 894 kilometers, and 224 kilometers with Armenia, and the changes instead made in our borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey.
More precisely, according to geographic data, our border with Azerbaijan is 446 kilometers and 275 kilometers with Turkey.
Both documents state that the abovementioned figures are not accurate and the length of the state border will be estimated after the delimitation and demarcation process finishes.
The stated purpose of this border delimitation and demarcation is that its completion has significant importance for the country because prolonged procedures have a negative impact on border management and undermines political, economic, and social stability of the country and region in general.
Thus, bearing in mind the fundamental state interests of Georgia, the government of Georgia shall take additional efforts to finish the delimitation and demarcation process of our border with Armenia and Azerbaijan. As for our border with Russia, its demarcation process will finish after the Georgian territories are de-occupied.
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