Why is Lukashenko visiting Georgia?
By Messenger Staff
Thursday, February 5President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko intends to make a trip to Georgian. His visit will presumable take place in April. There are several opinions among political analysts as to why he is coming to Georgia.
Some believe that the Belarusian leader will try to change Georgia’s political vector and push it towards Russia, while others believe that Lukashenko wishes to distance himself from Russia. Some speculate that the visit will be focused on economic issues only.
According to Ria Novosti the trip was initiated by the Belarusian side.
Analysts became interested in whether the Belarusian President is coming to Georgia as the leader of an independent country or as a member of the Russian-founded Eurasian Union.
Both Belarus and Georgia are post-Soviet Union states but with totally different attitudes and ways of development. Belarus has always been the closest ally of Russia and benefited economically from this relationship, while Georgia has tried to escape from Russian influence and paved its way to Europe, causing Russia’s wrath.
Georgia has establish democratic values, while Lukashnko is an authoritarian ruler and is referred to as the “Last Dictator of Europe” by the West.
Despite their differences, Georgia has enjoyed positive relations with the country. Former President Mikheil Saakashvili had quite a good relationship with Lukashenko and even defended him when he was criticized by some European leaders. Consequently, Lukashenko did not recognize Georgia’s occupied regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent republics following the Georgian-Russian War in 2008.
Analyst Khatuna Lagazidze states that for forecasting the messages brought by Lukashenko, the current political conjecture should be considered.
“On the one hand, Lukashnko might voice Russian messages as Georgia and Russia lack direct dialogue, but on the other hand, Belarus and Russia have certain problems in relations that might be successfully exploited by the West,” Lagazidze says.
The analyst suggests that the West requires Belarusian support to weaken Russia’s positions in the region.
“If the West tries to find a common language with Lukashenko in order to use him as a lever to neutralize Russia, why should we refuse to host him?” the analyst asks.
After a four-year pause, Georgia’s Minister of Agriculture Otar Danelia has held meetings in Minsk, where the sides agreed on cooperation in the following fields: Fisheries, livestock, animal feed, meat and dairy products.