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Abkhaz MP: Georgia’s Sea Seizures Pose Threat to Abkhaz Coal Industry
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Oct.'07 / 17:48

A Turkish-Abkhaz company, Tamsaş, quarrying coal in Tkvarcheli, faces bankruptcy because of an inability to export it, Daur Arshba, an Abkhaz lawmaker, said on October 25, according to the Apsnipress news agency.

A vessel flying the Cambodian flag, loaded with coal from Tkvarcheli, was seized by the Georgian coast guard on October 21. Another vessel, also loaded with coal, was seized in July.

“Tamsaş may stop operations,” Arshba said. “About 70 tons of coal are waiting to be exported, but it is impossible because of the many seizures of vessels by the Georgian side.”

Over twenty five vessels have been detained by the coast guard for “illegal maritime activities” in the Abkhaz section of Georgia's territorial waters in the past two years, according to the Georgian Border Police. Tbilisi says that the territorial waters and ports of breakaway Abkhazia are closed under Georgian legislation.

Arshba said that the Abkhaz National Security Council should immediately discuss the issue. He said that 70% of Tkvarcheli’s municipal budget came from coal mining related taxes.

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