Georgia Accuses Gazprom of ‘Political Blackmail’
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Nov.'06 / 12:39

Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli accused Gazprom on November 8 of blackmailing Georgia after the Russian energy giant proposed that Tbilisi hand over some of its assets in exchange for cheap gas.

“We have received another surprise from Russia; however, it should be said that we expected this surprise. It is clear that the [proposed price of USD 230 per 1000 cubic meters] is a political price and political blackmail, but Georgia will not yield to this blackmail. I want to reiterate that our companies are carrying out negotiations for the commercial price of gas not only with Russia, but also with other neighboring countries. And finally, we will choose the best option for the Georgian companies and the Georgian population,” PM Nogaideli told a government session.

Speaking at a news conference in Paris on November 7, Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili said that Russia is mounting pressure on Georgia by offering a non-commercial gas price.

“Russia should change its attitude towards the neighbors. It is impossible to achieve your own political goals through imposing economic sanctions and a blockade against Georgia in order to make our country change its political course,” Bezhuashvili said.

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