Georgian ambassador plays up potential for cooperation with Belarus

Georgia and Belarus have a huge potential for cooperation in various areas, including politics, economy and culture, Ambassador Georgy Chkheidze, who arrived in the Mahilyow region on September 28 on a two-day visit, said in an interview with BelaPAN.

Mr. Chkheidze described 2010 as a "milestone year" for economic cooperation between Belarus and Georgia. A Belarusian-Georgian commission on trade and economic cooperation held its first meeting in Batumi in July, he said. The meeting was very interesting because it was attended by not only government officials but also businesspeople, he said.

Although insufficient, the volume of trade between the two countries is rising, with Georgian products available in Belarus and Belarusian products available in Georgia, Mr. Chkheidze said.

Speaking about political cooperation, "any policies are determined by specific deeds and actions," he said. "The main result is our cooperation in all areas, including culture, economy, science and education."

When asked whether the attitude of Georgia to Belarus would change if Minsk recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Mr. Chkheidze replied, "Let's live, work, talk and build a common future."

While in Mahilyow, the ambassador attended Animayowka 2010, an international cartoon festival. Seven Georgian cartoons were to be screened at the festival.

On September 29, Mr. Chkheidze was scheduled to meet with Pyotr Rudnik, chairman of the Mahilyow Regional Executive Committee. "We'll talk about down-to-earth things, plans for further economic cooperation," he said. "Cooperation at the level of provinces holds great promise. We'll also discuss joint cultural and relief projects."