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Armenian Trucks ‘Attacked In Georgia’


Armenia -- A commercial truck enters Armenia from Georgia through the Gogavan border crossing, November 29, 2018. (Photo by the Armenian State Revenue Committee)

Armenian heavy trucks were pelted with stones and damaged early on Monday as they drove through a region in Georgia mostly populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis, according to the Armenian Embassy in Tbilisi.

A statement released by the embassy said the incident took place near the village of Qvemo Ponichala just outside Tbilisi. It said unknown persons threw stones at the trucks and smashed some of their windshields before fleeing the scene.

“The trucks were then escorted by [Georgian] road police to the Georgian-Armenian border and crossed it,” read the statement.

The embassy added that Georgian law-enforcement authorities have launched a criminal investigation and that it is “actively working” with them to ensure that the attackers are brought to justice and to “prevent a repeat of such incidents.”

The Georgian Interior Ministry issued no statements on the reported attack.

The Yerevan.today news service reported that more than 30 Armenian trucks were damaged in the incident. “Cargo shipments through Georgia are becoming very dangerous,” it quoted one of their drivers as saying.

The online publication also posted a mobile phone video that showed a truck cab littered with broken glass.

Qvemo Ponichala is located along a highway connecting Tbilisi to the main Georgian-Armenian border crossing. It also passes through other Azerbaijani-populated towns and villages.

Armenia - Trucks at the main Armenian-Georgian border crossing at Bagratashen, December 5, 2020.
Armenia - Trucks at the main Armenian-Georgian border crossing at Bagratashen, December 5, 2020.

The Sadakhlo-Bagratashen crossing was effectively shut down on September 28 the day after the outbreak of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Citing security reasons, Armenian and Georgian authorities told commercial trucks with Armenian license plates to use another, more remote and smaller border checkpoint leading to Georgia’s Javakheti region mostly populated by ethnic Armenians.

The Sadakhlo-Bagratashen crossing was reopened for cargo traffic on December 1, three weeks after a Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped the war.

Georgia serves as the main transit route for Armenia’s trade with the outside world. Armenian trucks mainly use Georgian territory for cargo shipments to and from Russia as well as European countries.

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