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Opposition criticizes Gov’t for its ongoing talks with Russia’s Gazprom

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, January 12
The United National Movement (UNM) opposition party demands the release of the content of the agreement signed between Gazprom and the Georgian government. However, the government says that no deal has been reached.

According to a member of the UNM, Nugzar Tsiklauri, the party will launch an anti-governmental campaign if the agreement is not made public.

“The Government of Georgia is conducting negotiation with an occupant country secretly. They plan to give Russian Gas Company Gazprom access to Georgian energy market. The government’s statements that the action is being implemented for pragmatic diversification are not true. The gas will be supplied via a Russian pipeline and will therefore be controlled by Gazprom. This is the interest of the occupant country,” stated Tsiklauri.

According to the UNM, the signed document may create a threat to both regional energy security as well as for Georgia’s international image.

Tsiklauri also added that the government’s decision is also against Georgia’s strategic partner Azerbaijan, which has been providing Georgia with gas energy for years.

“Georgia should not be dependent on Russian gas; Moscow will use this against us as they did it in 2006. The UNM categorically demands the release of the document,” stated Tsiklauri.

A member of the Georgian Dream (GD) coalition, Zakaria Kutsnishvili, responded to the UNM’s statement.

According to him, the Georgian government is just trying to secure as many sources of gas as it can.

“Russia provided Georgia with gas even between 2008-2012, when the UNM was the ruling party. By that same logic, that country was an occupant even then. I do not see any problem as to why Georgian government should not expand the list of companies who will provide gas to our country,” stated Kutsnishvili.

The Minister of Energy of Georgia, Kakhi Kaladze, stated that creating such a negative attitude around the Gasprom talks is counterproductive.

“We launched the negotiations long ago. Several meetings were held but no final agreement has been reached. For the last two months, we have heard many vague statements made by the so-called experts. If anybody wants to find out the details I am ready to provide them with the information,” state Kaladze.

According to him, the government will inform society once the agreement has been reached. He claims that the case refers to a year-long agreement with Gazprom.