Eduard Shevardnadze: Cooperation between Georgia and Russia brings only good

Economic and cultural cooperation between Georgia and Russia brings only good, said Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze in his weekly radio interview today. According to Rosbalt, Shevardnadze highly valued the Georgian-Russian business forum, which took place last week in Tbilisi, and Georgian days, which were celebrated in Moscow last week. He expressed his deep gratitude to the Russian leadership for holding Georgian days.

'In regard to the economic cooperation between the two countries, there are people in Georgia who are opposed. Without this opposition, there would be a lot more Russian investors,' he said. He mentioned the acquisition of the Rustav-based chemical company Azot as an example of successful Russian investment in Georgia. Shevardnadze said Russian investment in the country has created approximately four thousand jobs, which is impressive when considering the high unemployment rate in the country.

Shevardnadze believes that the prospects for Georgian-Russian cooperation could be expanded beyond energy and agriculture. He pointed to the development of transportation communication and the TRASEKA transportation corridor. He said it would be extremely advantageous for Russia to join the project. 'Iran and Afghanistan have already joined TRASEKA,' he said. Shevardnadze added that 'expanding economic cooperation between Georgia and Russia also implies cooperation by Georgia with Europe, the US and Asian countries.'

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