Abhazian President Raul Khajimba told fellow politicians at a recent party meeting that his government would close five of the six current checkpoints along the Enguri river, which divides Abkhazia from Georgia.
The single remaining checkpoint will exist as the only entry and exit between Georgia and Abkhazia.
The announcement comes after long term plans by Khajimba and his party to consolidate the border and restrict the movements of the ethnic Georgian minority in Abkhazia.
The relationship between Georgia and Abkhazia is said to be at a new low following the recent election of Moscow-backed Khajimba. Khajimba’s party are thought to have a more hard-line stance to Georgian relations than their more moderate predecessors, as well as a less forgiving attitude towards ethnic Georgians.
Many people spoke out against the decision to consolidate the border, especially on the Georgian side. Many Georgians view the act as an attempt to isolate Abkhazia from Georgia and are concerned that the single border check will make life for ethnic Georgians living in Abkhazia very difficult.