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Mudslide Blocks Vital Armenia-Russia Trade Route

A vital trade crossing on the Russian-Georgian border has been closed for nearly a week due to a massive mudslide on the Georgian side of the road.

Hundreds of trucks and other vehicles have been stuck at the Upper Lars checkpoint, which is an especially vital link for the shipment of goods between Armenia and Russia, for several days.

Upper Lars is the only Russian-Georgian border crossing located beyond Georgia's Russia-backed breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and serves as Armenia's sole overland commercial link to Russia.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said on June 29 that 147 people, mostly Armenians, would soon be evacuated from the area by planes.

Georgian authorities have been working to clear the blockage caused by the mudslide, which occurred on June 23.

Armenia and Russia are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, which also comprises Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax