Georgia “will hail an increase in Russian capital in the country,” said on Sunday President Mikhail Saakashvili. The president, now on a visit to Batumi, told reporters that some Russians “already started investing capital in our country”.
Saakashvili noted: “The Russian military bases are being pulled out of Georgia. Instead of Russian bases, Moscow will enjoy much greater positive influence on us in the name of Russian capital. This process has already started, and we acclaim the increase in Russian capital. This will help to improve our mutually advantageous relations on the whole.”
In compliance with the understandings between the foreign ministries of the two countries, the withdrawal of the Russian bases from Batumi and Akhalkalaki is to be completed in 2008. As for trade and economic cooperation, Russia has placed first among Georgia’s foreign trade partners, Itar-Tass reported.
Russia is responsible for 18 percent of trade by the results of the first half of 2005, and Turkey trails it with over 15 percent. Russian and Georgian leaders repeatedly stated over the past few years that the potential and resources are used insufficiently for boosting trade and economic cooperation.