Source Pravda.Ru

Legitimacy of Restoring Sochi-Sukhumi Rail Route Does Not Solve Refugee Issue

The raising by the Georgian side of the question of restoring railway communication between Sochi and Sukhumi "does not resolve the problem" of refugees.

An expert of the Russian Foreign Ministry told about this, commenting on the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Eduard Shevardnadze in Kiev on Tuesday.

"Whether there is an electric train or not - the same people appear every day on the markets of Sochi," said the expert. "The question is whether they appear legally or not. We believe that the legal way is better." Touching upon the problem of refugees, in particular from Abkhazia, the expert underscored that "Russia has similar problems concerning refugees from South Ossetia, the problem of returning them back to the places of their residence, as well as the problem of Meskhetian Turks.

After the meeting with the Russian President, the President of Georgia spoke about the achieved agreement "to synchronise the restoration of the railway communication" between Sochi and Sukhumi "with the process of returning refugees." At least, as RIA Novosti reports, this is how Eduard Shevardnadze quoted the Russian President as saying.

Eduard Shevardnadze pointed out that he himself was a supporter of the opening of that railway communication simultaneously with the return of refugees.

The President of Georgia referred to these words of the Russian leader as "the aim" and underscored that "if this is done, there will be no problems with the restoration of the railway communication, and the refugees will understand us." Eduard Shevardnadze again affirmed that the decision on the restoration of the railway communication between Sochi and Sukhumi was "illegal."