Russia resumes postal links with Georgia

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Moscow, Apr 21 (UNI) Russia today resumed postal services with the former Soviet republic of Georgia, lifting one of the remaining sanctions imposed in October 2006 which banned air, sea and rail transport between the two countries.

The sanctions were an apparent retaliation to the detention of four Russian army officers on espionage charges. Russian officials cited commercial reasons for the sanctions against Georgia, but Tbilisi called the measures politically motivated.

The Russian postal service said money transfers to Georgia via the postal service would also be resumed today.

Russia resumed air transport with Georgia on March 25, under a bilateral agreement signed in February on the repayment of Tbilisi's 3.7 million dollars debt to Russia's air traffic regulator.

Outgoing Russian president Vladimir Putin gave orders last week for the remaining visa restrictions on Georgians to be lifted and for talks to be held with Tbilisi to readmit key Georgian imports into Russia.

However, tensions between the two countries still remain high, in view of the Georgia's plans to join NATO.

Georgia has also strongly reacted to Russia's moves to strengthen ties with its two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Bakradze said last week that Russia's plans to give legal status to companies in the two regions and to cooperate with their governments was ''an attempt to annex two Georgian regions,'' and urged the UN Security Council and the OSCE to call emergency meetings on the issue.

UNI XC RJ DS1445

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