I've never seen in Belarus advertising of khinkali or khachapuri (Georgian national dishes). But those who tasted it say that it is delicious! I do not know what the Georgian president ate during his recent visit to Minsk last week (either their traditional dishes or Belarusian mochanki pancakes), but, judging by the expression on his face, he took a good impression of Belarus. Olga Petrashevskaya has more information on the high-profile visit and good Belarusian-Georgian relations.
This meeting was more like a friendly visit to visit, and Giorgi Margvelashvili was met with all the attributes of hospitality, for which Belarusians and Georgians are famous.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
I feel that we have good relations. On this basis we are ready for any kind of cooperation with Georgia, with the Georgian people. We are always happy to welcome and are glad to see Georgian citizens in Belarus and provide them here for full support and cooperation, in tourism, business, and just in travels, if there is such an interest.
The potential trade turnover between Belarus and Georgia is estimated at $200 million. It was outlined during the visit of Alexander Lukashenko to Georgia in 2015. Over 2016, the volume of mutual trade gained than 60%. Taking into account plans the turnover may reach nearly $100 million. Just 10 years ago, the figure was five times smaller.
Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia:
We are delighted by the achievements that we have seen in Belarus and we know about them, primarily in agriculture, high technologies and industry development. We would very much like to look at this experience and develop cooperation in these areas.
An assembly facility for Belarusian tractors may soon be established near Tbilisi. It will assemble about 300 Belarus tractors per year.
Aleksandr Kazakevich, deputy marketing director for commercial work in the CIS countries, Ukraine and Georgia, Minsk Tractor Works:
In Georgia, due to the specifics of relief, small plots of land are widespread, which requires a compact, agile tractor to perform the entire spectrum of agricultural works.
Korean and Chinese tractors are the main competitors for Belarusian tractors in the Transcaucasian market.
Cooperation between the two countries has taken root in many areas: almost all Belarusian enterprises-giants of Belarus are represented in Georgia. 25 companies with the Georgian capital are registered in Belarus.
Olga Petrashevskaya, CTV special correspondent:
The relations between our countries is not only about politics or economy but also what was experienced and suffered by virtually every Belarusian family. Our grandfathers fought together. Georgians participated in the defense of the Brest fortress and died alongside our troops.
14,000 Georgians gave their life for the liberation of Belarus. Two were commanders of large partisan brigades and Tengiz Shavgulidze even constructed several types of weapons. For this, he used various parts of different weapons guerillas had. This grenade launcher was assembled from the Mosin rifle, a bayonet piece and even a piece of water pipe.
Anna Galinskaya, deputy director of the Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War:
Another interesting invention is this wedge. It was created on the basis of a mobile railway switcher. In took just a few minutes to attach it to the rail and thus a train could be derailed.
By the way, during one of the previous meetings, the Belarus President gifted Giorgi Margvelashvili potato seeds. This probably was one of the topics the heads of Belarus and Georgia were discussing between formal talks, which lasted two days.
This is an interesting fact: it rarely happens that leaders communicate with each other two times during one official visit. This once again proves that cooperation between the two countries stands on a firm foundation of human relations.
She is a Belarusian and he is a Georgian. And these "international relations" have already yielded excellent results. Anna met Oleg having arrived in Georgia on a business trip. And she did not leave the Caucasian men a choice recalling that love has no accent and no boundaries. After moving to Belarus, the head of the family was freezing at first lacking the Tbilisi sun.
I have found here very interesting, real friends. And at work I was accepted as a friend.
Georgian youth may soon have an opportunity to visit Belarus more often. It is expected that the two countries will launch a joint educational project since Georgia lacks high-quality technical personnel. The Belarusian National Technical University is ready to share experience.
Dmitry Semenkevich, Deputy Minister of Architecture and Construction of Belarus:
They plan to build an ice arena. We were amazed at what Belarus had built. Georgia lacks such experience. They somewhat inaccurately chose a plot of land and the size. Our experts suggested some corrections. And now our task is to participate in the tender.
It will be logical to discuss the measure of success of present discussions only in a year's time. But judging by the way the leaders said goodbye it can be assumed that the next visit is not far off.