US Senator Richard Lugar heads to Georgia for official meetings

US Sen. Richard Lugar was heading Saturday to Georgia for meetings with the country's president and other officials, part of a nine-nation trip in the wake of the fighting between Russia and Georgia this month. Lugar, an influential member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will focus on "the trans-Atlantic alliance's energy security" during the two-week rip that started in France and will take him also to Azerbaijan, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Germany, and for meetings at NATO and EU headquarters in Brussels, his office said. The meetings follow a trip in January to Georgia and Ukraine, and to oil and gas pipelines in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, his office said. The Indiana Republican was co-author of the 1991 act that provided US funding and expertise to help the former Soviet Union safeguard and dismantle stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.