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President and government ready to host Lukashenko for the first time

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, April 22
The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, will visit Georgia on April 22 for the first time since being elected president.

There are several opinions among political analysts as to why he is coming to Georgia.

Some think that the Belarusian leader is coming to Georgia as the leader of an independent country, while others believe that he is coming as the mediator of the Russian-founded Eurasian Union.

Analyst Khatuna Lagazidze states that with the background of the crisis in the Ukraine, Lukashenko has a new role in delivering President Putin’s messages to Georgia.

She thinks that the president of Belarus is trying to perform the role of the peacekeeping leader in the eyes of Europe.

“Russia is trying to create a buffer zone around itself and it attempts to do this with the help of the members of the Eurasian Union,” Lagazidze said.

Unlike the political analysts, politicians have not mentioned the possible links between President Putin and President Lukashenko in the run-up to the Belarusian President's visit.

According to the government, the visit will focus on several important issues, including the agreement of double taxation.

“We will have negotiations in different directions regarding economics, enterprise and agriculture,” the economic minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.

The advisor to the President in Foreign Affairs, Tengiz Pkhaladze, held a press conference concerning the issue on April 21.

He spoke about the importance of Lukashenko’s visit to Georgia and said that President Margvelashvili had invited the Belarusian leader a year ago.

“A number of agreements will be signed in the fields of economics, trade and tourism. In addition, we will discuss Georgia's territorial integrity, sovereignty and the non-recognition policy,” Phkhaladze said.

The advisor also noted that the frequent criticism of Lukashenko from the Western countries about the violations of human rights will not be an obstacle to Georgia-Belarus relations.

“Every country has its own attitude towards a certain state but friendly relations are the main. Belarus and Georgian people have much in common and these resources should be used, " Pkhaladze explained.