|Russian Citizen Faces Trial in Tbilisi for “Illegal Visit"|
|April 03, 2012|
A Russian citizen charged with illegally entering Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia has gone on trial in Tbilisi.
Konstantin Rodionov pleaded guilty when proceedings opened on April 2 and said Russian authorities had not warned him that entering Abkhazia without Georgia’s permission was considered a crime by Tbilisi.
Rodionov was arrested at Tbilisi airport on February 17. He claims he arrived in Georgia with the intention of starting a business but had no idea entering Abkhazia without Georgia’s permission was illegal.
Russia recognized Abkhaz independence in 2008, following a five-day war with Georgia.
Georgia considers Abkhazia to be its territory and punishes anyone who enters the region without Tbilisi’s official permission.
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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