Georgia will not manage without Russian gas over the next two or three years and any questions about cooperation with Gazprom will be resolved by Georgia alone and not US advisors. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced today by Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.
The US had caused a stir about the upcoming agreement between Georgia and Gazprom. US Ambassador to Georgia Richard Miles and US Presidential Energy Advisor Steven Mann both expressed US discontent about Tbilisi's plans. Mr Mann traveled especially to Georgia in order to persuade Mr Shevardnadze not to sign the deal with the Russian gas giant, which the US believes is politically motivated.
As a Rosbalt correspondent was informed by the Georgian Fuel and Energy Ministry, the date for signing the long-term agreement of cooperation with Gazprom has been put back to late June or early July as the two sides still have to agree about certain technical details.
The details of the agreement with Gazprom are only known to the Georgian leadership. This is because those in opposition have said they are categorically against any increased Russian capital in the Georgian energy sector. They believe the creation of a joint enterprise with Gazprom, which will then become owner of the Georgian gas pipeline system, is unacceptable.