25 Dec 2009

Georgia to re-open border with Russia

8:57 am on 25 December 2009

Georgia says it has agreed with Russia to re-open the land border between the two countries.

Deputy foreign minister Nino Kalandadze says she expects it to re-open by the beginning of March.

The border was closed in 2006 amid tensions over Georgia's efforts to build closer ties with the West.

The BBC reports it is the only crossing that does not go through the Russian-backed breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgian forces were driven out of the two regions in a war with Russia in August 2008.

The Russian government has confirmed the agreement, saying that the checkpoint could "in theory" reopen from 1 March, 2010.