A woman waiting for the bus in Sokhumi, Abkhazia. (DFWatch photo.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Romania has recognized Georgia’s so-called neutral travel documents, which are issued to people living in the breakaway territories Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgia’s Foreign Ministry received word of the decision Friday in a note from the corresponding ministry in Romania which said that such travel documents will be valid for crossing the border into that country.

The so-called neutral passports are issued by Georgia to inhabitants of the two disputed territories, allowing them to travel abroad to a handful of countries that consider these as valid as any other passport: Japan, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, US, Bulgaria, Poland, Israel, Estonia and now Romania.

Alternatively, they may use a passport issued by the de facto authorities, but even fewer countries in the world recognize them as valid. Most of the people who live in Abkhazia and South Ossetia therefore usually have to use the Russian passport most of them have been issued when they want to travel abroad.

Georgia’s neutral passport also allows the holder to receive free social services in Georgia.