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Belarus President To Visit Georgia

Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is planning to visit Georgia this April.

Belarus Agriculture Minister Leonid Zayats made the announcement at a February 2 session of the Belarus-Georgian intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation.

Georgia's Foreign Ministry reportedly confirmed the visit and said ministry officials were already making preparations for Lukashenka's arrival in Tbilisi.

Lukashenka's visit comes as the Belarus leader has become increasing critical of Russia and, in Lukashenka's opinion, the Kremlin's overly dominant role in the Eurasian Economic Union (EES), which groups Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia.

Lukashenka last month said his country might leave the EES and prior to that the Belarus president vowed to improve strained ties with the West and warned Russia not to oppose the effort.

Georgian-Russian relations have been extremely bad since the brief 2008 war between the two countries that resulted in Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions breaking away with Moscow's approval.

Based on reporting by Novosti-Gruziya, Vzglyad, and Interfax