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    The former Georgian republic of Abkhazia switched to Russian telephone codes at midnight on Sunday

    SUKHUMI, November 15 (RIA Novosti) - The former Georgian republic of Abkhazia switched to Russian telephone codes at midnight on Sunday, the republic's information and communications department said.

    Abkhazia and Russia signed a memorandum in September that would help the republic establish its own independent telecommunication and postal services.

    The existing Georgian phone code will run parallel be effective until January 1, 2010. When dialing a number in Abkhazia, callers will need to use Russia's country code +7 as of Sunday.

    Russia recognized the independence of the former Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia last August after a five-day war with Georgia over the latter, which was attacked by Tbilisi in an attempt to bring it back under central control.

    Under mutual assistance treaties signed last November, Russia pledged to help South Ossetia and Abkhazia protect their borders, and the signatories granted each other the right to set up military bases in their respective territories.

     

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