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The media are chewing over the Georgian Railways track2009-07-20 08:48
Rezonansi decided to go through with the anti-Russian campaign related to selling the Georgian railway. The newspaper rumors were gladly taken up in Russia. Well, one would do everything to help the Georgian opposition depose the current president...
Secret negotiations between Tbilisi and Moscow as to the transference of the Georgian Railway (GRW) to Russia have entered their final stage. This was reported by Nezavisimaya Gazeta (The Independent Newspaper) with reference to the Rezonansi Georgian oppositional newspaper. The details of the expected background transaction were given by GeorgiaTImes ten days ago when it first mentioned the name of the mediator, the family of a Russian businessman with the Georgian origin, Sharangia, in the accusatory speech made by the former Chairwoman of Parliament Nino Burjanadze.
And now, according to Rezonansi, all the misunderstanding between the transaction participants has been cleared up. This happened during the visit paid by President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili to Yerevan. The Russian Railways (RRW) track already reached Armenia when the company management acquired long-term concession control over the Armenian Railways (ARW). Officially, it is now run by the one-hundred percent affiliate of Russian Railways, the South-Caucasian Railways (SCRW).
As soon as the Abkhazian authorities allowed RRW to maintain control over its track-and-station property, the Georgian railway found itself surrounded by "hostile" tracks, as the government would put it and as it refers to everything associated with Russia. Besides, the state corporation has bought the ferry crossing connecting the Russian port of Kavkaz with Poti.
This step was logically followed by RRW penetrating Georgia.
In his interview to GeorgiaTimes, expert Georgi Khukhashvili confirmed that the Russian company expressed interest in respect of this railway in the days when he was member of the observation council.
In 2007, a scandal broke out, when the public learnt about signing a 99-year contract between the government and "a not very well-known company". What is meant here is the British Parkfield Investment, which website the journalists failed to find in the Internet. The company won the state tender and promised to invest three milliard dollars into the railway. The opposition suggested that the company might be representing the interests of Saakashvili's family and the Russian business. This resulted in the government having cancelled the transaction. According to the then Minister of Economics Kakha Bendukidze, Parkfield Investment failed to satisfy all the demands made by the Georgian party.