Wednesday, January 11 2017 12:34
Naira Badalian

Gazprom offers Georgia new terms of payment for transit of Russian gas to Armenia

Gazprom offers Georgia new terms of payment for transit of Russian  gas to Armenia

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.

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