Duma official says Russia's policy on Abkhazia is not based on double standards

Russia has never pursued and is not pursuing a policy of double standardson Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Duma International Affairs Committee DeputyChairman Konstantin Kosachyov declared at a news conference in Moscow. Hepointed out that Russia had never refused to recognize the territorialintegrity of Georgia. At the same time the official explained that theexisting simplified procedure for crossing the border between Russia andAbkhazia was largely due to humanitarian reasons and in fact, was intendedto allow the people "to avoid starvation." Kosachyov added that Russia hadbeen granting its citizenship to residents of Abkhazia but only those thatdo not have Georgian citizenship. These decisions are made in accordancewith international norms and the law on citizenship that the State Dumaadopted recently. .

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