Georgian opposition storms Batumi port because of Russian tourists

Maria Novoselova / Vestnik Kavkaza

Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia detained several people protesting against the arrival of the Astoria Grande passenger liner from Russia to the Georgian city of Batumi.

People were detained under administrative orders due to fights with police officers stationed in the port for the safety of vacationers. Late at night, opposition party representatives began to gather in Batumi near the harbor. They claim that persons on board the liner support Russia’s military actions in Ukraine and push for the independence of Abkhazia from Georgia.

This is not first protest against the Astoria Grande in Georgia. On the evening of July 27, the cruise ship sailed from Batumi, two days ahead of schedule, under pressure from local protesters.

According to the Maritime Transport Agency of Georgia, the international cruise ship was not sanctioned. It was planned the cruise ship will stop in Batumi on a regular basis, but after today's protests the city was removed from the list of Astoria Grande stops on its official website. So far, it hasn't been confirmed the cruise ship excludes Batumi from the route.

© Photo :Maria Novoselova / Vestnik Kavkaza