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Minority initiates inter-faction group

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, January 26
Parliamentary minority faction European Georgia, which consists of former members of the United National Movement (UNM) party, initiated on Wednesday the creation of an inter-faction confidence group, which should monitor and investigate facts of high-profile commercial deals over the country's important facilities or strategic objects.

The faction has already applied to Parliament with the request to make all necessary amendments to the regulation.

The head of the faction, Sergo Ratiani, says that their legislative initiative was caused by the developments around the government’s recent deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom.

“The reason of our initiative is the commercial deals in the country, which are of interest to the public,” Ratiani said, and added that society had no access to the conditions of these deals.

“We made the proposal in order to enable the highest representative body, an inter-faction confidence group of the parliament, should have access to the information connected to such deals,” the MP said.

The new deal with Gazprom was reached on January 10 2017. It means that Georgia, as a transit country for the transportation of Russian gas to Armenia, will receive monetary compensation from 2018.

Under the previous agreement, which expired on December 31 2016, Russia was paying Georgia for gas transportation by supplying natural gas to the amount of 10% of the volume of transported gas.

Non-Governmental Organizations, the opposition and the President have stated the deal was “unprofitable for Georgia’s economy and endangers energy independence”. They also call on the authorities to disclose the agreement details and hold a special parliamentary hearing over the issue.