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Opinions & Interviews

21 Jun 2019

Lukashenko promises to do his best to preserve good relations with Georgia

Lukashenko promises to do his best to preserve good relations with Georgia

MINSK, 21 June (BelTA) – Belarus will be doing its best to preserve good relations with Georgia, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Georgia President Salome Zourabichvili who arrived in Belarus on 20 June, BelTA has learned.

“Although your current visit is a brief one, I hope you will find time in the future to visit Minsk and see the entire Belarus. The Georgian ambassador knows Belarus, Minsk very well. He can tell you a lot about our country, show you many interesting places,” the Belarusian head of state said at the beginning of the meeting. 

“I believe you have a sound knowledge of the nuances of the Belarusian-Georgian relations. I will not be talking here about mutual trade, about the times we had to go through. We started our relations from scratch, especially in the economic sector. Today, Georgia is among Belarus’ important partners. We enjoy friendly and warm relations. Our nations are very close. They respect and love each other. We have a robust foundation of the relations. Believe me, I will do my best to preserve such good and warm relations in all the spheres,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus is closely monitoring the situation in Georgia. “We care about the situation in Georgia. Your people have gone through a lot of difficult moments after the collapse of the Soviet Union. You always found the way out of difficult situations. The current situation in Georgia is difficult as in other countries, but we are hardy people and I am sure will find a way out of the most difficult situations,” the head of state said.

In turn, Salome Zourabichvili thanked the Belarusian president for the opportunity to meet, despite the fact that she has to cut short her visit to Belarus due to the recent unrests in Georgia.

The Georgian president noted that she is happy to visit Belarus. She added that she had prepared for the visit and wished every success to the 2nd European Games. “I have to go, but will be rooting from the distance. Georgia is currently coming through a difficult period. I feel obliged to be there. When something is going on in the country, the head of state must be with his/her country. I apologize to you once again but I need to go home and be with my people,” Salome Zourabichvili said.

Georgia President Salome Zourabichvili arrived in Minsk on a visit on 20 June. Apart from official meetings with the country’s leadership she was expected to attend the opening ceremony of the 2nd European Games. According to TASS, protests took place near the building of the parliament in Tbilisi late on 20 June. Several thousands of protesters demanded resignation of the interior minister and the parliament speaker. The police had to use tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to stop the demonstrators from storming the building. According to the Georgian mass media reports, dozens of people were detained. According to the Healthcare Ministry of Georgia, some 52 people were injured, including 38 police officers.

Belarus and Georgia boast more than 60 cooperation agreements. In 2018, the mutual trade totaled $87.1 million, including the export of $64.7 million and the import of $22.4 million.

Belarus is home to 19 companies with the Georgian capital, including 13 joint ventures and six foreign firms. More than 20 representations, subsidiaries, distribution network entities of Belarusian companies operate in Georgia. 

Team Georgia at the 2nd European Games will include 61 athletes and 63 coaches. Georgia will compete in wrestling, canoe sprint, cycling, gymnastics, archery, boxing and sambo.

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