TS 44836

* GEORGIA * RUSSIA * ZHVANIA * CO-OPERATION * GEORGIAN MINISTER: RUSSIA-GEORGIA TRADE TIES UNJUSTIFIABLY LOW TBILISI, February 9th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Georgian State Minister Zurab Zhvania deems the current level of economic ties between Russia and Georgia to be "unjustifiably low." "In the past years, an extensive legal framework for the development of Russia-Georgia economic relations has been formed, but their level remains unfairly low," Zhvania said on Monday to the Novosti-Georgia agency.

In his words, Georgia is interested in attracting Russian investment, and on the other hand, the Russian market is the most important for Georgian commodities.

"The new Georgian government intends to take every effort to create an attractive investment climate in the country," Zhvania said.

He remarked that "the development of economic ties requires political will of the two countries' leadership." Bilateral relations are expected to get a boost from Mikhail Saakashvili's visit to Russia due to start tomorrow, the minister said.

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