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Still no gas for Tskhinval2009-01-08 16:11
On January 5 Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller reported that according to his information Georgia was ready to resume gas supply to South Ossetia. However later the Georgian side disproved this information. Tskhinval still has no natural gas for heating.
On Monday at the meeting with Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin the head of Gazprom pointed out: "I have just received information that the Georgian side is ready to resume gas supply to South Ossetia. Gazprom in its turn is supplying gas to the Georgian consumers at full volume in accordance with the contracts executed earlier", - his words are quoted by RBC.
However on January 6 Irakli Nikolaishvili, Itera-Gruzia deputy CEO responsible for gas supplies to South Ossetia stated in his interview with "Interpressnews": "Our company is not ready for natural gas supplies to Tskhinval region. The volume of gas that Itera-Gruzia will receive this month does not cover supplies to South Ossetia and Gazprom information is contrary to fact. Besides our specialists have no possibility to examine the gas line damaged section".
On the same day, January 6, the head of Georgia's Ministry of Fuel and Energy Alexander Khetaguri repeatedly put the blame for gas supply interruption on South Ossetian authorities. "During the war, - he stated to Rustavi-2 TV, - the pipe was severely damaged by the bombardments. Then our specialists patched up the affected zones though one thing remains - in the territory out of Georgia's control. This is basically the main reason of supply breakdown. Georgia's government was not going to freeze rebellious Ossetians. As for the rest technically the gas line is ready to conduct the "blue fuel".
Making such statements Khetaguri apparently forgets that as early as on December 23 the head of Russia's EMERCOM Sergey Shoygu announced that the South Ossetian part of the gas line was completely serviceable. The South Ossetian authorities in their turn expressed readiness to accept any specialists for the gas line check-up promising to guarantee their safety. However there has been no clear reply from the Georgians yet.
In addition today on January 7 it emerged that the South Ossetian side was intended to raise a fundamental issue on gas supply of the republic at the coming Geneva discussions. This was stated by the authorized representative of South Ossetia's president on post-conflict settlement Boris Chochyev. Commenting on Alexander Khetaguri's statement that the South Ossetian part of the gas line was damaged he noted: "What the Georgian leaders are doing now is playing political games".