TBILISI, DFWatch – Bulgaria has sided with Georgia in a dispute over how to allow the civilian population in Georgia’s breakaway regions travel abroad.

Two regions broke away from Georgia during the breakup of the Socviet Union, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, leading to over 250 000 Georgians being forced to flee. Those who still live there have been issued with Russian passports. But since the international community does not recognize their independence, their passports are not valid for travels abroad.

Georgia proposed a special kind of passports for the breakaway regions, what is called neutral passports, a proposal which has been rejected flatly by the separatist regimes.

However, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a visit to Georgia early in 2012 that America will recognize neutral passports.

Now Bulgaria too says it will recognize the documents.

The eastern European nation thereby joins Japan, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia and the USA in recognizing these documents.

Grigol Vashadze, Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, thanked his Bulgarian colleague and expressed his hope that this process will continue and someday all EU member countries will recognize these documents.