If the Abkhaz want to visit the Winter Olympics next February in the Russian city of Sochi, about 25 kilometers to the north, they might need to walk. And even then there is no guaranteed access through a gateway that Russia plans to keep ajar.
In a recent decree laying out the do's and don'ts during the Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for strictly limiting access to Sochi from the de-facto border crossing with breakaway Abkhazia, recognized by Moscow as a sovereign state.
Trains from Abkhazia will be cancelled for a month during the Olympics, and entrance by vehicles restricted. While Putin’s August 23 ukaz does not state this definitively, some outlets report that vehicles with Abkhaz license plates will not be allowed to cross into Russia.
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