Flowers are the only items that Abkhaz farmers can sell freely on the other side of the border.
Abkhazia’s frustrated farmers and market gardeners are victims of a muddle over whether Abkhaz citizens can take produce into Russia without documents they did not formerly need – and without paying customs duties.
Ironically, this difficulty has sprung up as a consequence of Russia’s decision to help Abkhazia by recognising it as an independent state.
Although moves are being taken to sort out the situation, Abkhaz exports to Russia have all but ground to a halt in the meantime because of the new rules, introduced by the latter in mid-March.
Before Russian recognition, Abkhazia enjoyed all the trading privileges allotted to members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, CIS, as it was de jure part of Georgia.
Welcome to independence, Russian-style.