Monday, June 13, 2005
Georgia mulls banning entry to Lukashenka
A Georgian parliamentary committee has advised banning the entry of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, while parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze said Belarus's government "is in its death agony" and a democratic revolution is near.
The recommendation, which is part of a draft resolution that was prepared by the Foreign Relations Committee and is due to be put to a vote next week, was a response to a unilateral decision by Belarus to introduce visa-based entry for Georgians.
The draft resolution, which was read out at Friday's plenary parliament session, would also advise the government against introducing entry visas for Belarussians, but would suggest that Georgia recall its officials from Commonwealth of Independent States' bodies in Minsk.
Civil Georgia reports on Belarus's new visa requirement for Georgians:
Belarus Foreign Minister Sergey Martinov said in an interview with the Belarus state TV channel on June 10 that Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s decision on possible enforcement of visa requirements with Georgia was triggered by the threat of, as he put it, arrival of “revolutionary fighters” in Belarus from Georgia. The Belarus Foreign Ministers has also called on Tbilisi, which has been criticizing Belarus for its human rights abuse, to change the policy in regard of Minsk.
“Decision of the [Belarus] President was triggered by objective and understandable facts: it is not a secret that President Saakashvili, as well as the Georgian Parliament have made statements and also have decided to dispatch “revolutionary” fighters [to Belarus], which will, naturally, be followed by criminal elements. We know about this [scenario] from the experience of other countries,” the Belarus Foreign Minister said, with reference to Ukraine, where a group of Georgian students from the Kmara (Enough) organization, were taking part in the peaceful demonstrations, which led to Orange Revolution last year.