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Sunday, 10 August 2008

Georgia - Russia war: Latest news

1. Georgia says it has pulled out of South Ossetia. Russia disputes this claim, and as confirmed by BBC correspondents in the region, it appears that Georgian troops withdrew from the capital Tskhinvali, but not other parts of South Ossetia. This is not going to satisfy Russia which demands complete withdrawal.

2. Reports indicate that Russian warships deployed to impose a naval blockade of Georgian Black Sea ports “to prevent arm shipment”. As Georgian ports are effectively one of the main routes for Armenia to outside world, this may result in severe impairment of transport links for our country, at least for the near future.

Escalation continues...

9 comments:

Onnik Krikorian said...

When is this going to hit Armenia, do you think? Most of our trade comes via Georgia, especially from those ports and across the border from Russia. Shortages when?

artmika said...

Tough to know... I would suspect that this already started hitting Armenia, although not yet in an apparent way that population could feel, not as yet. I suppose it depends on how long this will last. If it is something short-term, should be relatively painless, otherwise shortages could be a reality... For now, prospects do not look good. I wonder if Armenian government is seriously taking the matter. I hope so. I also expect that Armenian head of state and all government officials should return to country. It is not a time for holiday.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Some word that many flights can't operate to and from Yerevan. Haven't confirmed this, but people expecting visitors from Russia say they can't get here because, of course, they would have to fly through Georgian airspace. What's the situation with Turkish airspace, does anybody know?

artmika said...

I came across with the reports that some airlines use Azeri air space for flights to and from Armenia. I assume no side wants to 'advertise' this fact too much. I may suspect the same with the Turkish air space. In any case, no reports as yet on any problems for flights evacuating foreigners from Georgia via Yerevan airport.

Onnik Krikorian said...

I think people are being evacuated to Armenia via road, no? Tbilisi airport isn't functioning, I think, as Russians have targeted it.

I'm hearing that the Bagratashen-Tbilisi road is still open and safe, though.

artmika said...

Yes, via road, but then via Yerevan airport to their countries.

artmika said...

...also via railroad. Conflicting reports as to whether transportation of goods to Armenia via Poti port is affected. (Armenia Today)

artmika said...

... and here we go. According to the Ministry of Energy of Armenia, supplies of Russian gas to Armenia via Georgia have been reduced by 30%; the missing volumes will be covered by the reserved stock.

artmika said...

RFE/RL: Russia’s intensifying military campaign against Georgia has reportedly paralyzed commercial traffic through two Black Sea ports handling the bulk of cargos shipped to and from Armenia, threatening to cut off the country from the outside world.[…]

According to Vladimir Badalian, a government-linked parliamentarian co-chairing an Armenian-Georgian business association, both Poti and the other Georgian port, Batumi, are standing idle now because of the worsening security situation in the country.[…]

Armenia’s rail communication with Georgia appears to have not been affected yet by the unprecedented fighting.[…]

No disruptions were also reported in international flights to and from Yerevan, many of which are carried out via Georgian airspace. According to Norayr Beluyan, chief executive of the national airline Armavia, the fighting and the Russian air strikes have so far forced no changes in the carrier’s flight schedule. “The air routes we are using are very safe,” Beluyan told RFE/RL. Armavia checks with Georgia’s civil aviation authority before every flight, he said.

A spokeswoman for the Armenian government’s Civil Aviation Department said several overnight flights from European cities to Tbilisi were diverted to Yerevan’s Zvartnots airport.