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South Ossetia greets winter in gas blockade2008-12-19 13:33
Prior to the end of 2008 South Ossetia will be cut off Georgian gas supplies. This is reported by First Deputy Chairman of the Government of South Ossetia Khasan Pliev.
Later on he gave the following explanation to "Res" information agency: "Georgia has paralyzed gas supplies, any trade opportunities and any relationships between economic entities. For our part we will consider our relation to Georgia. I'm going to raise these issues before the general committee of the government".
"Georgia has paralyzed" means the parliament's ban on any economic interaction with South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Now the government of South Ossetia is taking measures to provide heat during the cold months in the republic.
Pliev informed that the republic received coal for schools and nurseries equipped with boiler houses operating on solid fuel. Large volumes of firewood are in preparation - the forest operators have a relevant task.
"Around 5 thousand c.m. have been stored up for two months", - Pliev specifies. - Firewood will be distributed to all institutions by stages. The sale to the public will be at fixed prices with the price formation being under control".
Certainly these are good measures but why were they referred to only now? Georgian gas supplies were stopped as early as in August. However it was believed in South Ossetia that the issue could be settled. Alas...
"Now we see the true colors of Georgia that has no notion of humanity", - President of South Ossetia Edward Kokoyty's comment was quoted by "Regnum" in November. - In any case we are a resistant people and will overwinter all right. The authorities of the republic will do their best to lend maximum assistance and support to the population".
Coal and firewood situation is quite clear. Gas issue is more complicated.
On December 17, "Gazprom" official representative Sergey Kupriyanov stated live on "Ekho Moskvy" radio:
"For now we do not possess facilities for direct gas supplies from Russia. The gas line that will connect the Russian Federation with South Ossetia will not be commissioned until mid 2009".
Nevertheless there is Russian gas in South Ossetia. For the time being only liquefied. Already 200 tons have been shipped to the republic plus a thousand gas cylinders and a new gas-filling MAZ vehicle. Four gas-filling stations were opened. Besides a special terminal will soon operate for stocking liquefied gas.