- Sputnik International
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

Tbilisi won't buy Russian gas at $230 - Georgian president

Georgia will not buy Russian natural gas at $230 per 1,000 cubic meters, President Mikheil Saakashvili said Tuesday.
TBILISI, November 14 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia will not buy Russian natural gas at $230 per 1,000 cubic meters, President Mikheil Saakashvili said Tuesday.

Saakashvili told a press conference following a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg that Georgia will not pay $230 for Russian gas because it is not a fair market price at a time when some of Georgia's neighbors are paying $65 and $110 in real terms.

According to agreements between Georgia and Gazprom, the gas price in 2006 has been $110 per 1,000 cubic meters. Gazprom recently suggested that Georgia pay $230 per 1,000 cubic meters of Russian natural gas as of 2007.

The Georgian leader said the price was politically motivated and that the move amounts to an economic blockade of Georgia, which now buys all its gas from Russian energy giant Gazprom [RTS: GAZP].

Despite that, Saakashvili said, his country is ready to cooperate with Russia on various levels.

He also said his government is holding talks with partners to look for alternative sources of gas imports.

A Georgian energy official said November 2 that his country is in talks with a consortium that is developing a gas field in Azerbaijan to ensure alternative gas deliveries, and that buying gas from Iran and Azerbaijan is being considered.

"We are working on extra gas supplies from other sources, and are technically ready to receive gas from any direction," David Ingorokva, president of the Georgian International Gas Corporation, said.

Georgia and Russia have been entangled in a diplomatic feud since the arrest of four Russian officers on spying charges in September. Tensions were already strained at the time over the presence of Russian peacekeepers in the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and over Russia's import ban on Georgian goods.

Since the latest row began, Russia has cut transport and mail links to its mountainous ex-Soviet neighbor, cracked down on businesses allegedly related to the Georgian mafia, and deported hundreds of Georgians accused of residing in Russia illegally.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала