Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli said on Thursday that Georgia is currently in “an energy blockade” after two gas pipelines and a high-voltage power line were blown up in Russia’s North Caucasus region on January 26.
“Unfortunately, the energy blockade continues. We should be consolidated in order to overcome the current energy crisis,” PM Nogaideli said at a news conference.
Most of eastern Georgia, including the capital Tbilisi, was blacked out on January 26 after the "Imereti" high-voltage power line was damaged, amid a continuing gas crisis in the country.
The Prime Minister denied that Russia’s Gazprom is supplying Azerbaijan with extra gas in order to direct it towards Georgia via the Azeri-Georgian gas pipeline.
“Official statements made by Gazprom that 3 million cubic meters of gas per day is being delivered to Azerbaijan so that the latter could increase its gas delivery to Georgia are not true,” PM Nogaideli said.
“Azerbaijan receives the amount of gas from Russia which is only enough for Azerbaijan’s consumption. But, despite this, Azerbaijan has maintained a supply of 2.5 million cubic meters of gas to Georgia, which is of vital importance to us,” he added.
“So Gazprom should either stop making statements that it is supplying gas to Azerbaijan for Georgia, or, if possible, it should really increase the gas supply to Azerbaijan so that we could receive more gas,” Nogaideli said.
Late on January 25 Georgian Deputy Energy Minister Aleko Khetaguri said that the gas supply was further reduced to 2 million cubic meters on Wednesday.
Georgian Energy Minister Nika Gilauri is currently visiting Baku to negotiate a possibile increase in the gas supply with the Azeri authorities.
The Georgian Prime Minister also complained about the rehabilitation process of two gas pipelines that were blown-up in Russia’s North Ossetian Republic.
“We see that restoration of the gas pipelines is being delayed… During one day we are receiving several conflicting and contradicting reports from Russia about the restoration process; but the reality is that the process is being delayed, so we have serious questions and complaints towards the Gazprom leadership,” PM Nogaideli said.