Shopping center at Rukhi. (Facebook.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Traffic resumed Tuesday across the Enguri bridge, the only crossing between the breakaway region Abkhazia and Georgia proper, locals told DFWatch.

However, the bureaucratic hurdles bar most of Gali residents from crossing the conflict line.

January 11, breakaway authorities declared a quarantine and unilaterally blocked passage on Enguri bridge due to outbreak of swine flu in Georgia. There were made a few exceptions for medical reasons, including people who were allowed to pass in order to have their X-rays taken. Staff at Enguri hydroelectric power station and visa-holders were also allowed in and out.

“The crossing has just been opened, it was still closed in the morning,” a Gali resident said, adding that this is not big news for many people in this predominantly Georgian district. Bureaucratic procedures introduced in 2018 have made it virtually impossible for most people to cross the administrative borderline (ABL), the person told DFWatch.

What was most damaging for locals was the cancellation of old Abkhaz passports on January 1. Old Soviet passport were also declared invalid previously. Currently, the only documents that permit a person to cross the ABL from the Abkhaz side are a residence permit and a so-called Form 9, a costly and hard-to-obtain document.