From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: The leader of Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia has threatened to destroy any Georgian ship entering Abkhazia’s ‘territorial waters.’

“I issued an order to our navy to destroy Georgian ships violating Abkhazia’s sea border,” Sergei Bagapsh told Interfax. “This step has been motivated by unending acts of piracy by Georgia.”

It is the strongest threat to date from Bagapsh in an escalating war of words over Tbilisi’s efforts to impose a sea blockade on the territory.

The blockade was imposed after the Russia-Georgia war one year ago. Abkhazia was not directly involved in the hostilities but took the occasion to declare independence and its sovereignty was guaranteed by Russia.

In response to Bagapsh, Tbilisi said it would hold Russia, which controls Abkhazia’s borders and coastline, responsible for any attacks on its ships. (photo: NATO)