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Lithuanian Prime Minister In Georgia For Talks On Ties, Western Integration

TBILISI -- Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius is in Georgia for talks on issues including Georgia's efforts to integrate with NATO and the European Union.

Butkevicius, whose country is an EU and NATO member and is sympathetic to Tbilisi's efforts to shed Russian influence and integrate with the West, arrived on January 25 for an official visit held on January 26-27.

In addition to intergration with the EU and NATO, he is expected to discuss bilateral economic cooperation, transport, and energy issues with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

Butkevicius will also meet representatives of the Baltic Business Association in Georgia and participate in a Georgian-Lithuanian business forum.

He is scheduled to visit a field office of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM).

A Lithuanian diplomat, Kestutis Jankauskas, is the new head of the EUMM.

The mission has monitored areas near the lines dividing Georgian government-held territory and land held by Russian-backed separatists in South Ossetia and Abkhazia since shortly after a 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.

With reporting by