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Tunnel Connecting South Ossetia With Russia Reopens

A strategic 3.7-kilometer tunnel connecting Russia with Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia has reopened after reconstruction.

South Ossetia's de facto President Leonid Tibilov said on November 5 that the reconstruction of the Roksky Tunnel "will strengthen South Ossetia's relations with its strategic partner, Russia."

He called the tunnel, built in 1984, "a road of life."

Russian Transport Ministry has said the reconstruction, which started in 2010, had cost Moscow more than $400 million.

The tunnel is the only route linking South Ossetia with Russia's North Ossetia, as all other segments of the Georgian-Russian border have been closed since a five-day war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008.

Russia has recognized South Ossetia and Georgia's other breakaway region, Abkhazia, as independent states and kept military forces in both regions.

Based on reporting by RIA-Novosti and TASS