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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Navy to Detain Ships in Abkhaz Waters

Russian forces will detain ships that enter the territorial waters of the Moscow-backed rebel region of Abkhazia without permission, the border guard service said on Tuesday, ratcheting up tensions in the Black Sea.

Russian troops have patrolled the borders of Abkhazia and another breakaway region, South Ossetia, since Moscow recognized the regions as independent states after the war with Georgia last August.

Georgia has detained ships en route to Abkhazia and the rebel authorities have threatened to destroy Georgian ships that enter its "territorial waters."

"If there is a violation of the border we will act in accordance with the law... we will carry out detentions," said the deputy head of Russia's border service Viktor Trufanov, Interfax reported.

"We will do everything to ensure the security of the Russian state, the securing of the Abkhaz state," he said.

A spokesman for the border guard service declined to comment.