Georgia hits out at Russia after explosions on the Mozdok-Tbilisi pipeline

23 January 2006 00:00 Source:ICIS
Georgia accused Russia of sabotaging its gas supplies on Sunday after explosions on the Mozdok-Tbilisi pipeline into Georgia left the Georgian capital without gas in sub-zero conditions.

The Georgian president, Mikhail Saakashvili, said the attacks were orchestrated by Russia and designed to punish Georgia for not handing control of its gas pipelines to Moscow. Russia claimed that the accusations were hysterical and blamed pro-Chechen criminals for the explosions.

Vladimir Ivanov, spokesman for the North Ossetian emergency situations ministry, said the pipeline would be repaired by Tuesday morning, according to Russian state-run newswire Ria Novosti.

Gazprom told The Heren Report: “We’re sending 3 million cubic metres a day through Azerbaijan to Georgia to make up the shortfall.”

Last month Georgia agreed to buy Russian natural gas at $110 per thousand cubic metres (Km3), a 72% increase on the previous price of $64/Km3. The former Soviet republic will take 2.25 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas in 2006 (see ESGM 11.246).
By Ben Farey