Iran will start supplying gas to Georgia starting on January 29 or January 30, President Saakashvili announced while addressing cabinet members on Friday.
But Saakashvili did not specify either the price or the amount of gas which Georgia plans to import from Iran.
"According to this contract, the Iranian side will launch a minimally necessary supply of gas to Georgia, starting from Sunday - or no later than Monday - in order to almost totally restore the supply of at least electricity," Saakashvili said. The Georgian President also added that these imports will also restore the "important part" of the gas supply.
"The prices which were reported by the televisions are not true. The price is very favorable for Georgia at this stage," the Georgian President added.
Earlier, Georgian media sources reported that Georgia will have to pay USD 120 per 1000 cubic meters of Iranian gas. This is USD 10 more than the price of Russian gas.
The only way for Iranian gas to reach Georgia is via Azerbaijan. Although President Saakashvili did not specify the amount of gas that will be imported from Iran, some experts say that 4 million cubic meters of gas per day is the maximum the Azeri-Georgian gas pipeline can deal with.
Saakashvili said that Georgian Energy Minister Nika Gilauri has “carried out 'shuttle diplomacy'” in Baku and Tehran in recent days. The Georgian Energy Ministry’s delegation is still in Iran.
“We are creating mechanisms in order to receive gas in this [alternative] way in case similar restrictions [in gas supplies] or similar breakdowns [of pipelines] occur,” Saakashvili said.
“I think this is a very important breakthrough. And it should be understood in Russia as well that we now have an alternative,” he added.