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Attack against memorandum on Inguri hydroelectric plant

2009-01-21 17:41

3/9/9/1399.jpegOn January 20 Inter RAO UES CEO Evgeny Dod arrived in Sukhum in order to discuss the questions of the InguriGES functioning with Abkhazia's president Sergey Bagapsh.

It became necessary to have a private meeting between the head of the Russian company Sergey Dod and Sergey Bagapsh a while ago following the reaction of the republic's president to the memorandum on shared use of the InguriGES signed at the end of the year betweeen Inter RAO UES and Georgia's Energy Ministry.

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On January 20 it was reported of the president's discontent and bewilderment. According to "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" Sergey Bagapsh made a firm statement: "The authorities of Abkhazia will not tolerate infringement of the republic's interests at the power plant operation".

All this is quite strange as the Russian company's site report of December 31 on execution of the InguriGES memorandum states that Inter RAO UES had a preliminary series of negotiations with the leaders of the Abkhazian energy sector.

And now it results that the head of the republic is not informed on the subject. Moreover the urgency of Evgeny Dod's visit to Sukhum is explained by a very precise and not less categorical phrase of the president: "All contracts or agreements signed underhand ignoring our interests will be void".

So there is a real threat that the "Memorandum of Understanding on efficient operation of the Inguri GES" will be merely a piece of paper. Its preparation however was not an easy one. It took a lot of time and effort to reach "understanding" between the Russian company and the Energy Ministry of Georgia Indeed there was a reason for the head of the Energy Ministry Alexander Khetaguri to withhold comments on the contract with the Russian company for quite a long time.

However the problems remained after the execution of the document on shared management of the power plant. This fact aroused protest of many Georgians. This is the rationale: we lost the war and now having no diplomatic relations with Russia its company will own a strategic facility of Georgia.

Apparently that is why Minister Khetaguri found it necessary to emphasize at the meeting with the journalists in Tbilisi on January 12: "100% of the InguriGES shares have always been, are and will be the property of Georgia".

It looks like not everyone believed him. Anyway there came a wave of resentment among Georgia's oppositional forces calling not only the Energy Minister who had signed the memorandum but also President Mikheil Saakashvili to account for an ill-considered act (as the discontent think) seriously threatening to bring both to justice.

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