There was no rhyme or reason to the latest actions of the Georgian leadership. Even the Russian Foreign Ministry (normally quite restrained in terms of comments) released a statement calling the allegations of the Georgian authorities “hysterics”. The Georgian authorities claimed that a gas pipeline in Ossetia and a power line in Kabardino-Balkaria were blown up by the Russian secret service so that the Kremlin could put pressure on Tbilisi. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at a regular press conference in Moscow, pointed out that Russian specialists were fixing the pipeline in the subfreezing temperatures as the Georgian officials did nothing “but spat at us.”
Pravda.ru already said that the gas pipeline explosion could be a planned provocation aimed deliberately at making the Russian-Georgian relations even worse despite the fact that the relations have hit rock bottom. Now they are at the “freezing point”.
Still, Georgia needs to get natural gas one way or another. According to the Georgian leadership, it is impossible to do business with Russia. The Georgians did not take long to find a solution. They began buying gas from Iran. However, the Iranians set the Georgians up big time. Following the news spread by IRNA news agency, one would doubt that there are any sensible types among the Georgian leadership.
IRNA reported that Georgia had purchased 30 million cubic meters of natural gas from Iran, citing Iran’s deputy oil minister. Term of delivery is 30 days, the contract is worth $7 million. In other words, Georgia is ready to pay $230 per one thousand cubic meters of natural gas. Meanwhile, Georgia would buy the same amount of gas from Gazprom at $110 per one thousand cubic meters. The situation seems pretty spicy since Iran is buying gas from Turkmenistan at $44 per one thousand cubic meters. So the price of gas being resold by Iran to Georgia is 5 times higher than that of gas bought by Iran from Turkmenistan.
It is unclear whence Georgia got the money to pay for the deliveries at the above price. Perhaps the money came from U.S. financial aid, which should total $80 million this year.
Georgian authorities plainly refuse to comment on the value of the contract with Iran. State Minister Kaha Bendukidze said that the price of Iranian gas was “considerably lower” than $230 per one thousand cubic meters. He did not elaborate, though.
In the meantime, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili exposed yet another plot against his country. President Saakashvili held a meeting in Berlin with Georgian ambassadors to EU states. He told the ambassadors that “we are confronted with a network of perpetrators who have lots of money and expertise. They are not happy about Georgia’s successes, its unity.” Saakashvili called on the diplomats to oppose those perpetrators with “our enthusiasm, professionalism, and our love for the Motherland,” Interfax reports.
Needless to say, all those hysterics about “plots” and “pressure” are politically motivated. While painting the image of Russia as Georgia’s major enemy, The Georgian leadership has no other strategic goals save for the fastest integration into NATO and the EU. Keeping their total inefficiency in state governance in disguise as long as possible is the only task the powers that be are trying to fulfill.