Georgia’s rebel region of Ajaria has said its people are armed and ready to defend themselves after Georgia imposed a blockade to bring it under control. A senior official said the authorities would defy sanctions imposed on the territory after it refused entry to Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili. Mr Saakashvili responded by closing borders and shutting off its air space. Jemal Gogitidze said the region’s authorities would not allow the borders and ports to remain closed. The mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, is visiting the semi-autonomous region to back President Aslan Abashidze, who is a traditional ally of Russia and has called for Russia’s support. Full Story
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