Georgian Parliament's committee chairman: We can't refuse Azerbaijan's gas anyway - EXCLUSIVE

'Some forces are trying to undermine friendly relations of Azerbaijan and Georgia', Chairman of the Georgian parliament's committee says

Baku. 4 February. REPORT.AZ/ 'Today, some forces, who deliberately take advantage of the natural gas issue, are trying to undermine friendly relations of Azerbaijan and Georgia. We must not let it happen.' 

Chairman of the Georgian parliament's committee on finance and budget, Tamaz Meciauri said in his interview with Report.

He noted that Georgia's natural gas and electricity demand is increasing day by day: "The Azerbaijani gas we buy and gas received in the form of compensation for transporting Russian gas to Armenia is only a minor part. Even if SOCAR gives greater volumes to Georgia, it will not meet all the demand. Therefore, the Georgian government is looking for some ways to meet the demand for natural gas in some countries, including the Russian Gazprom, since we negotiate now. Russia wants to give financial compensation for the supply of natural gas, Georgia wants to get more gas instead. We are still negotiating and there is no result yet".

Chairman of the Committee stressed that diversification of the energy system, pursuing any state policy in this field is an internal affair of each state, and Georgia is not an exception. But this does not mean that the Georgian government wants to spoil relations with Azerbaijan, "the Georgian state and the government are interested in strengthening relations with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is our strategic partner. At the same time, it is our biggest gas supplier. We can't refuse Azerbaijan's gas anyway. We also purchase Azerbaijan's electricity energy. No one can guarantee that tomorrow Russia pursuing its interests will not stop providing gas and electricity again. We fully realize, what problems can we face if this happens. However, I'm very upset that some forces take advantage of this situation and try to undermine relations with Azerbaijan and Georgia. I should admit that some people in the Georgian government have contributed to their work on purpose or not."

Tamaz Mechiauri also pointed out that Georgian talks with any country on the energy markets should be transparent. "The public must be properly informed so there is confusion. In particular, we need to remember the upcoming elections", said Mechiauri.

Commenting on information about finding 5.3 trillion m3 natural gas reserves in Kakheti, South Georgia, the chairman said: "This issue has not been confirmed yet. Earlier, some information about finding hydrocarbons, in particular natural gas reserves on the Georgian territory have been also spread. But that time this information was not confirmed. If this is true, then the situation in the region will completely change. Then, Georgia will have a role in the energy market and will become a gas exporter itself. But this is still just a speculation. We should wait for the outcome of the search. Nevertheless, we can't spoil our relations with Azerbaijan".

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