Belarus Ready to Boost Ties with Georgia

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi

Belarus is ready to boost relations with Georgia, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said during the talks with visiting Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili on September 17.

"We are fully committed towards restoring and boosting ties with Georgia, making them much deeper as compared to the Soviet period," the Belarus President's press office quoted Lukashenko as saying.

Speaking about the trade relations with Georgia, Lukashenko stressed that the level of trade turnover did not comply with the potential of the two countries, adding that it should increase to, at least, USD 100 million per year.

The two sides also discussed the issues of security. "Alexander Lukashenko stressed his country's readiness to promote the establishment of relations in this field," Lukashenko's press office reported.

Relations between the two countries became tense last year, on the eve of the March 19 presidential elections in Belarus, as Tbilisi explicitly voiced its sympathy towards the Belarus opposition. The Georgian Foreign Ministry condemned elections as undemocratic and said they were held in "atmosphere of intimidation."

On the elections President Saakashvili described Lukashenko's regime in Belarus as "dark force" trying to oppress democracy.