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    Six people cross Russia-Georgia border since its reopening

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    Only six people have crossed the Russian-Georgian border since an automobile border crossing, the only direct overland route between the two countries, was reopened Monday, a Russian border guard spokesman said.

    Only six people have crossed the Russian-Georgian border since an automobile border crossing, the only direct overland route between the two countries, was reopened Monday, a Russian border guard spokesman said.

    Russia closed the Verkhny Lars checkpoint on the border with Georgia for reconstruction in July 2006 for an indefinite period. The South Caucasus state protested the move, saying it was an "unfriendly act." After a brief war in 2008 between Russia and Georgia over the republic of South Ossetia, Russia kept the border closed, even though the reconstruction of the border control point was finished in May of last year.

    Russian Federal Security Service border guard department spokesman Alexander Solod said two people crossed from Georgia to Russia on Monday, and four people the other way round - three cars in total.

    The Verkhny Lars border checkpoint reopened at 6:00 a.m. on Monday morning (02:00 GMT). The countries agreed to reopen the border under Swiss and Armenian mediation.

    Switzerland has represented Russia's interests in Georgia and Georgia's interests in Russia since the August 2008 war between Moscow and Tbilisi over South Ossetia. Georgia cut diplomatic ties when Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another former Georgian republic.

    VLADIKAVKAZ, March 2 (RIA Novosti)

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