TBILISI, DFWatch – A Russian mobile operator in Georgia portrays Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia as an independent country on its website.
It’s Beeline, which is owned by the Russian mobile company VimpelCom, which now suggests to readers of its website the de facto republic of Abkhazia as one of the countries where customers might want to travel to.
Beeline has won over around fifteen per cent of Georgian mobile users after entering the country in 2005.
Georgia is going to bring the issue up with Russia through the Swiss ambassador.
Nino Kalanadadze, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister said this today at a regular briefing at the ministry.
“Despite this being a private company, we have practice and experience of activity in such situations and in this situation we will try to actualize the issue and we hope that the private company will react appropriately,” Kalandadze said.
Abkhazia was one of three areas within Georgia which broke away during the final days of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Wars led to over two hundred thousand refugees that are still unable to return. Almost all countries in the world see Abkhazia as a part of Georgia, but Russia recognized it as a country after the 2008 war with Georgia and has built up a large militarily presence.