The World Trade Center Atlanta and the Russian American Alliance, a local service firm engaged in developing business with Russia and former Soviet states, are hosting a delegation from Belarus March 23-24 despite a United Nations investigation alleging the country has violated an international arms embargo against the West African nation of Ivory Coast.

March 2 evening news reports, however, indicated that the U.N. received erroneous information and has apologized to the Belarus government.

Belarus, which is landlocked and surrounded by Russia, Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states, declared its independence as the Soviet Union was collapsing in 1991.

U.N. officials are investigating the possibility that it was the source of gunship helicopters sent to the Ivory Coast, which is on the brink of civil war. But the Voice of America reported that the U.N. has apologized for an erroneous report that Belarus had violated an international embargo and that it would be investigating the source of the mistaken information.

If the country was to have been proven to have sold the helicopters, it would face even more sanctions from the U.S. and European Union in addition to those put in place following a crackdown by the government on dissidents after last year’s December election.

The companies represented in the delegation are primarily agricultural and manufacturing firms, not arms suppliers. Business-to-business meetings are available with their representatives seeking to establish contacts in the Southeast.

They include manufacturers of electronics equipment, magnetic water treatment devices, vans, furniture and flooring.

Among the agricultural companies are producers of veterinary preparations such as feed and milk additives. One company is promoting its database of members of agricultural associations, pig-breeding and livestock farms and poultry factories.

Companies seeking to explore the U.S. market for pork, beef, milk and grain production are included in the delegation as well as those seeking partners to develop bakeries and tourism.

The meetings are to be held at the law firm of Hall Booth Smith & Slover PC downtown.

To learn more about the companies, call (404) 813-6672 or send an email to

For more about the U.N.’s apology to Belarus, go here .