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Russian Citizen Faces Trial In Tbilisi For “Illegal Visit"

A Russian citizen charged with illegally entering Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia has gone on trial in Tbilisi.

Konstantin Rodionov pleaded guilty when proceedings opened on April 2 and said Russian authorities had not warned him that entering Abkhazia without Georgia’s permission was considered a crime by Tbilisi.

Rodionov was arrested at Tbilisi airport on February 17. He claims he arrived in Georgia with the intention of starting a business but had no idea entering Abkhazia without Georgia’s permission was illegal.

Russia recognized Abkhaz independence in 2008, following a five-day war with Georgia.

Georgia considers Abkhazia to be its territory and punishes anyone who enters the region without Tbilisi’s official permission.

With reporting by Itar-TASS and Interfax