Russia and Georgia have agreed to reopen a border crossing that has been closed since July 2006, Georgia`s foreign ministry says, according to BBC.

The Kazbegi-Upper Lars crossing is likely to reopen next March, deputy foreign minister Nino Kalandadze said.

It is the only crossing that does not go through the Russian-backed breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgian forces were driven out of the two regions in a bitter war with Russia in August 2008.

The Russian government has confirmed the border agreement, saying that the checkpoint could "in theory" reopen from 1 March 2010.

But air links could only be re-established if the safety of Russian air crews could be guaranteed, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said.

Diplomatic relations had not been restored since the war, and that was the problem, he added.