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UNM says Georgia loses $21.9 Mln by new deal with Gazprom

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, February 17
Georgia’s opposition, the United National Movement (UNM), says that the new deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom is economically unprofitable. The previous agreement was expired on December 31 2016 and according to the new agreement Georgia will see a loss of $21.9 million.

The UNM held a special press conference over the issue on February 16, claiming government officials involved in the process of negotiations with Gazprom should take responsibility for the unprofitable step.

The new deal was reached on January 10 2017, and as a transit country for the transportation of Russian gas to Armenia, Georgia will receive Gazprom payment from 2018.

Under the previous agreement, Russia paid in kind to Georgia for gas transportation by supplying natural gas to the amount of 10% of the volume of transported gas.

Although Georgia’s Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze said that the new deal reached with Gazprom is a commercial secret, UNM member Roman Gotsiridze says that Gazprom pays Georgia $5 per 100 km transported 1000m3 gas, adding the loss under new contract amounts $21.9 million.

Gotsiridze said that under previous contract, Georgia was getting gas worth $44 million from Gazprom.

“After moving to this monetary payment, Georgia will get $22.1million,” stressed Gotsiridze.

The new agreement is a two-year deal. The previous arrangement will remain in place throughout 2017, after which the new monetary payment system will come into force.

Moreover, under the new deal, if Georgia needs additional gas supplies in winter, it will be received at a reduced price of $185 instead of $215 per 1000 m3.