Georgia’s opposition United National Movement Party staged a human chain protest against Gazprom on March 6 in Tbilisi after the country’s Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze said on March 5 that Georgia and Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom had agreed in principle to keep the existing gas transit terms and pay Georgia 10% of Russian gas transported to Armenia via Georgia.
“Agreement has been achieved; only signing of the contract is now left,” the Georgian Energy Minister told journalists.
“According to the agreement this year we remain within the scope of the existing contract, which is in force for years already, envisaging receiving as a transit fee 10 percent of natural gas transported [from Russia to Armenia],” he said, adding that the contract will run until the end of 2016.
Kaladze’s remarks came a day after the Georgian Energy Ministry announced about a new deal with Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR, according to which Georgia will receive an additional 500 million cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan.
Gazprom wanted to monetize transit fee and pay cash, instead of 10% of gas transported to Armenia via Georgia.
If monetized, Georgia would not have receive enough cash to buy the same amount of gas it is now receiving as a transit fee; in such case the country would have required to buy more gas from Gazprom.
But after announcing about additional gas supplies from Azerbaijan, Energy Minister Kaladze said on March 4 that there was “no need for additional volumes of gas” from Russia at this stage.
Georgia’s opposition United National Movement Party staged a human chain protest against Gazprom on March 6 in Tbilisi.