Though nobody doubts that Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko will really visit Georgia at beginning of August, the sudden delay of Yushchenko's planned stay caused some surprise and, in light of recent events here, even increased the nation's sense of insecurity regarding the possibility of terrorist acts, The Messenger reported.

For example, two of the suspects detained in connection with the Gori car-bomb, have allegedly confessed that they had been planning to carry out attacks on aircraft, the newspaper Rezonansi reported, although this is only one, likely sensationalized, account.

The news of Yushchenko's planned, late July visit to Tbilisi that was suddenly released less than two weeks ago seems to have been a surprise for President Saakashvili. He immediately interrupted his holiday in Holland and prepared to meet his Ukrainian friend.

But the announcement of Yushchenko's consequent postponement until August was even more unexpected. The Ukrainian President's packed schedule was the ostensible reason given for the delay.

His visit is now expected to take place sometime after August 4, as President Saakashvili will be in Sweden from July 30 to August 4.

Lots of things are expected from Yushchenko's visit. This event will mainly deepen the cooperation between the two countries in politics as well as economics. Local businessmen are demanding that the Georgian president lobby strongly for Georgian economic interests when he does finally meet with his Ukrainian guest, in order to deepen the strategic economic relationship that has been recently forged between these two "Color Revolution" countries.

"We have a unique chance here to deepen strategic economic relationships that will sustain Georgia's exports and rapidly increase our country's economy," says Giorgi Isakadze, the Executive Director of the Georgian Businessmen's Federation. According to Isakadze, Yushchenko's visit should essentially focus on the issue of deepening the current trading relationship between Georgia and Ukraine, reports the newspaper Sakartvelos Respublika.

According to Isakadze, Ukraine had already partially ratified a draft agreement concerning sugar imports before the Orange Revolution but has since changed the conditions. Currently, sugar exported from Georgia to Ukraine costs EURO 300 a ton, a fact that makes the Georgian side uncompetitive. The Businessmen's Federation has called upon the Georgian president and government to discuss this particular issue with President Yushchenko with hopes of returning to the original conditions of the draft.

"In case the old draft is re-adopted, Georgia will be able to supply Ukraine with 50-100 tons of sugar, which will increase Georgia's total exports, and hopefully create a Georgian sugar brand that will become a serious source of income for Georgia," the newspaper Sakartvelos Respublica quotes Isakadze as saying.


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