ArmInfo. Gazprom has offered Georgia new terms of payment for the transit of Russian gas to Armenia, Georgian Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze told reporters following yesterday's meeting with Gazprom Export managers in Minsk.
News Georgia quotes Kaladze as saying that the details of the contract will be clear after the Georgian Government discusses it at its sitting on Jan 11. "This was the last offer by Gazprom. We mainly talked about transition to monetized payments," Kaladze said on Imedi TV after getting back from Minsk.
He said that the previous two meetings with Gazprom proved to be to no avail, because the sides had different positions, but the latest offer was "pretty interesting".
Earlier Georgian Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze said that the Georgian side has a "very simple" position: "even in case of transition to monetized payments, the country should receive the same benefit".
On January 9, Georgian Economy Minister Giorgi Gakharia stressed that the market should be diversified. "The price should be unbiased and it should contribute to development of our economy," he said.
Roman Gotsiridze, one of the leaders of the United National Movement (Georgia), says that Russia offers an enslaving agreement to Georgia. "The gas is supplied to Georgia by Azerbaijan. Earlier the following argument was brought to continue the talks with the Russian side. Georgia's demand for natural gas is allegedly not fully satisfied and the reason is the capacity of the pipeline. But the Shah-Deniz consortium has solved this problem, giving us a huge pipeline, which should certainly be welcomed," he says. Gotsiridze thinks the negotiations in Minsk "cause serious doubts, which also appeared last year". "The matter concerns not only economy, there are also some other levers, which will become known sooner or later. And then nothing good will happen to the people who acted to the detriment of the strategic interests of our country," Gotsiridze has told Georgia Online.
It should be noted that the meetings are held within the framework of annual negotiations with Gazprom Export regarding the transit agreement. Gazprom representatives suggest monetizing the payment for the transit of the Russian gas supplied to Armenia via Georgia instead of giving 10% of the transited gas to Georgia, but this offer is unacceptable to the Georgian side. The main importer of gas to Georgia is Azerbaijan. The country has not bought Russian gas since 2007. In March 2016, the Georgian side and Gazprom signed a new agreement, under which Georgia continued to receive 10% of the Russian gas supplies to Armenia. This agreement expired on 31 December 2016.
To recall, when initiating reduction of the tariff of gas supplied to Armenia, the Russian company took into account the prospect of signing of a new contract between the natural gas supplier to Armenia Gazprom Export LLC and Georgian Gas Transportation Company.