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President demands Gov’t meeting on energy security

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, October 15
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has demanded consideration of energy safety issue at the governmental session, the President’s administration said.

The brief information released by the Administration says that the President is requesting a discussion about Georgia’s energy safety and the situation in the energy transit area.

The aforementioned issue has become topical after the Deputy Prime Minister Kakha Kaladze held talks with Russia’s Gazprom energy company, while Gazprom announced another planned meeting with the Georgian side.

Responding to the statement, Energy Minister Kakhi Kaladze stated that he was surprised with the President’s statement as energy security of Georgia has never been at risk under the current state Government.

Thus, he could not see the necessity of discussing the topic at Government’s meeting on the next Monday.

Kaladze stated that if the President was interested in the issue he could provide all the information needed and forward it to the President’s administration concerning the country’s energy security.

According to the Georgian Energy Ministry, the country consumed a total of 2.1 billion cubic metres of natural gas in 2014.

Only 200 million cubic meters were from Gazprom, supplied to Georgia as a transit fee, while the remainder came from Azerbaijan.

Since Kaladze spoke about possible gas supplies from Gazprom last week, PM Garibashvili visited Baku on October 10, where he met with the Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev.

The opposition, which strongly opposes Georgia’s gas provision from Russia, stated that the Energy Minister’s statement concerning cooperation with Gazprom “irritated” Azerbaijan and Gharibashvili went there to smooth over the situation.

PM Gharibashvili strongly denied the speculation and stressed on October 12 that Tbilisi’s relations with Baku will remain “friendly and strategic” and dismissed talks about replacing Azerbaijani gas with a Russian supply.