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Gazprom & Armenia -=- “gas War” Has Started


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#1 hytga

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 02:25 AM

http://www.kommersan...r=527&id=642680



QUOTE
Armenia Accepts Russia’s Ultimatum

Armenian President Robert Kocharian arrived in Moscow on a two-day visit yesterday to open the Year of Armenia in Russia. Yet, the main goal of Mr. Kocharian’s trip is to negotiate the price on the Russian gas. Moscow has given an ultimatum for its strategic ally: either gas price will be raised to $110 or Armenia will hand to Gazprom its gas infrastructure and then enjoy cheap gas for one more year. Robert Kocharian accepted the ultimatum, Kommersant learnt, and is willing to transfer a 45 percent stake in the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline under construction to Russia.

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Robert Kocharian opened the Year of Armenia in Russia at a ceremony in the State Kremlin Place. Famous ethnic Armenian French singer Charles Aznavour and composer Michel Legrand came to the ceremony.

The event was just an occasion to discuss serious economic issues such as the gas problem which threatens to spoil the harmonious allied relations. Moscow came with an unexpected statement late last year saiying that Armenia should pay $110 for 1,000 cu. meters of gas instead of the former $54 from 2006. Moscow thus demanded that its sole strategic partner in Transcaucasia pay as much as the overtly unfriendly Georgia. Russia suggested pointblank: Armenia can pay for gas at the new price or it can hand the fifth power unit of the Razdanskaya thermoelectric power station and the republic’s gas transportation system as a payment for cheap gas.

The ultimatum caught Armenian officials unawares. Yerevan kept on hoping that their active pro-Russian stance and support of the Kremlin’s foreign policy would help Armenia escape the common lot of other CIS nations. Russia, however, insisted on transferring gas relations on a market basis. The proposed gas price was considered impossible for the modest Armenia. President Kocharian thought over the Russian demand for almost a month only to brace himself to accept the terms imposed by the Kremlin.


#2 MosJan

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 12:20 PM

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#3 phantom22

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 12:44 PM

This is a move to regain control over Armenia. Perhaps the Kremlin wants to join Armenia to Russia, thereby relinquishing its sovereignity. Russia just pushed Armenia out of its camp. I predict we will see a shift toward the US. Soon Iran will be in US control, so Armenia can get its supplies from the south.

QUOTE (hytga @ Jan 23 2006, 02:25 AM)


#4 ED

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 12:47 PM

the way things are looking if this thrend continues Armenia will become another provence of russian federetion
but what other choice did the goverment have? the political termaoil with Iran if and when war breaks out Armenia would stand to loose the most, its a loose -loose sitiuation no matter how you aprouch it.

interesting is to know what other vital economic institution is still National in Armenia? looks like almost everything is owned by Russians Persians Freanch Greeks....etc

#5 vika182

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:15 PM

Let's not forget that Armenia is being ruled by greedy and selfish idiots/tyrants.

Don't believe that the government cares at all about the average armenian and Im sure theyre recieving some sort of benefit from this, otherwise they would have figured out long ago to drop Russia and look towards Europe.

Russia is a tyrranical country ruled by a dictator, a country who has skrewed armenia for centuries, why are we allied with them, for helping so much during the genocide, for helping us keep our lands afterwords, or for interfering in 1988. Any intelligent person will tell you we should not ally with Russia and many armenians in armenia feel the same. Russia is playing the same game that The US and China are playing, which is economic/political empirialism. However, Russia actually has oil, making it more dangerous, because they need nothing from anyone else and can be as big a tyrant as they want.

Armenia is on the road to becoming an african country, in debt due to its corrupt dictators, with no resources, no assetts nothing but barren land and a beaten down citizenry. Is slavery next? Does Armenia not remind you of Afirca or India? sold at the hands of its corrupt leaders? Is kocharian anythign other than a dictator? Soon we will be a colony unless we wise up, develop a nuke, destroy tyrrany in Armenia, ally with the European Union.

There will be no war in Iran, I doubt there will be sanctions either. The US needs oil and there is no way russia and china will agree to a war. Conclusion: The US cannot fight another war unilaterally.

#6 hytga

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:31 PM

the government is ruled by idiots. i'd rather they increase the price than give control of the assets to russia. They did the same with ArmenTel. What happened? did the people not end up paying more? I don't know specific statistics but a rough calculations show that ArmenTels annual service charges amount to hundreds of millions. considering the 1.7 bln cubic meters, we'd end up paying just about 100 mln more per year. i'm sure we could afford it if we're able to afford armentel. The government's decision is idiotic.

#7 ED

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:41 PM

regarding Iran, middle east and oil,
i saw very interesting sagment on 60 minutes last night
Canada has the potential and will become another "middle east" as far as oil is concerned,
with huge amounts of oil reserves right now just Americans alone are investing 150 BILLION $ in Monetoba alone, thus i see middle east loosing its stratigic importance in 10 years or sooner and means west and especialy US would not have any reservations when it comes to deeling with Iran or or US would deal with Iran like she is deeling with Angola maybe middle east would become a better and peacfull place due to result of Canada's oil? after all the wars US fought are direcctly are tighed to oil and NOT to spread democracy around the reagion, this is just a BS feed by neo-con think tank orgs for there own imperialistic ideas.

#8 Sasun

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 02:23 PM

QUOTE (hytga @ Jan 23 2006, 02:31 PM)
i'd rather they increase the price than give control of the assets to russia.

I tend to agree. The price of gas may increase or decrease over time, but once we hand assets there is no return. We should not succumb to blackmain even if it means cold. A lot of people may say we are not strong enough to resist, but they forget that a lot of strength comes from willing to resist. It is better to be cold than weak. How come Georgians are nearly hostile we are not being treated a lot better than them, just a little better.
Let them increse the price, after 1 or 2 years we will have an alternative source then they will have to compete with Iranians and will have to decrease the price anyway. Iranian gas is supposed to be cheaper than $110 (if I am not mistaken $70-80).

#9 hytga

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 03:57 PM

http://azg.am/?lang=AR&num=2006012415
QUOTE
ԻՐԱՆ-ՀԱՅԱՍՏԱՆ ԳԱԶԱՏԱՐԻՑ ԱՌԱՅԺՄ ԶԻՋՈՒՄ ՉԻ ԱՐՎԵԼ

«Հայաստանը փոխում է իրանական գազը ռուսականի հետ» հոդվածում ասվում է, որ Մոսկվան ռազմավարական դաշնակից Հայաստանին վերջնագիր է ներկայացրել կամ գազի գինը բարձրացվում է մինչեւ 110 դոլար, կամ Հայաստանը «Գազպրոմին» է փոխանցում իր գազային ենթակառուցվածքները եւս մեկ տարի գազը էժան գներով ստանալու դիմաց: «Կոմերսանտի» տեղեկացմամբ՝ Ռոբերտ Քոչարյանն ընդունել է վերջնագիրն ու պատրաստ է ռուսական կողմին փոխանցել Իրան-Հայաստան կառուցվող գազատարի բաժնետոմսերի 45 տոկոսը: Այս լուրը հրապարակելով «Կոմերսանտը» հղում է արել ՀՀ նախագահի աշխատակազմի մի պաշտոնյայի: Նույն լրատվամիջոցում խոսվում է նաեւ Հայաստանի հաղթաթղթի մասին, այն է՝ Հայաստանը կարող է հարց բարձրացնել Գյումրու մոտ տեղակայված ռազմակայանի վարձակալման վճարի մասին (ներկայում անգամ կոմունալ ծախսերը Հայաստանն է հոգում), որը հնարավոր կլինի ամեն տարի ճշտել փոխհարաբերությունների բարեկամական լինելու չափից ելնելով:

Սակայն համաձայն ՀՀ նախագահի մամլո խոսնակ Վիկտոր Սողոմոնյանի Իրան-Հայաստան գազատարի բաժնետոմսերի 45 տոկոսը ռուսական կողմին առաջարկելու մասին լուրերը չեն համապատասխանում իրականությանը: Բացի այդ, ինչպես տեղեկացնում է «Մեդիամաքսը», խոսնակը հայտարարել է. «Կողմերը պայմանավորվել են շարունակել բանակցությունները: Ամենայն հավանականությամբ, վերջնական որոշումը կկայացվի փետրվարի կեսերին»:

Ն. Պ

conflicting. but i'm pretty sure this is just to calm armenians. I've noticed the same tactic. This is just to prepare people mentally. They'll hand the 45% if not more, you'll see.
Although i hope they don't.

Edited by hytga, 23 January 2006 - 03:58 PM.


#10 vika182

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 04:50 PM

As many have said, the government of Armenia raises prices all the time so why should they be so concerned with Russia with raising the price of oil?

There are underlying issues at play here, mainly Armenia's inability to stand up to russia. When we are given an opportunity to free ourselves from Russian control (through the Iranian pipeline) we cower and give in to Russia.

Are we afraid that we will be destroyed without Russian "protection" and Russain military bases in Armenia? If Armenia angers Russia and Russia stops "supporting" Armenia, maybe the turks and azeris can have their way with Armenia. Maybe theyre thinking its better to have a fickle and irritable protector than to have no one. It's like an abused wife who will not leave her husband. Georgia does not have similar problems with the Turks so maybe that's why they can stand up to Russia.

However, we need to consider how much support we are actually getting from Russia and how much is just Russia's rule by terror and fear tactics. My opinion is that were not getting much from russia, or not much we can't get elsewhere. Again, What has Russia done for us that we have not paid for very heavily?

Obviously Russia's main concern is having an oil monopoly and therefore complete dominance over the region. Did anyone believe the tyrannical giant died in 1991? Obviously it is in the interest of others to keep Russia from having a monopoly so if we played our cards right, we could certainly win allies. Secondly, with all the money being supplied by the diaspora and loans from other nations, surely we could last one lousy year, because thats all russia is offering us, cheap oil FOR ONE YEAR. What are we going to do next year when we have noting to sell to Russia? We cant keep giving them what they want and hoping that theyre nice to us. This foreign policy is ridiculous.

Look at what Europe is doing to help Armenia, recognizing the genocide, giving loans, negotiating with turkey, trying to get them to open the borders. What is Russia doing? Keeping us subservient so that they can benefit from our weakness. If we need to take out loans at 50% interest it is better than this deal because this deal will be on our backs FOREVER and future generations will suffer greatly both economically but more importantly politically. With each step we are selling out independence and our autonomy and the corruption of the Armenian government is the greatest accomplice to this crime.

After centuries of dreaming, we have a nation yet it is slipping from us. I am tired of Armenia being Russia's slave. However, I'm sure Mr. Kocharian is being highly paid to keep it that way.

Anyway, this is only my perspective and as I am living in a warm house with electricity in the states, do I have the right to talk? But I do have to say that those years living in Armenia without electricity or water were good for me, they made me more armenian, because suffering for our principles is something we have done for millenia and consequently we are still alive as a nation. We should not sell ourselves now.

Any perspectives from Armenia?

#11 gamavor

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 05:19 PM

QUOTE
This is a move to regain control over Armenia. Perhaps the Kremlin wants to join Armenia to Russia, thereby relinquishing its sovereignity. Russia just pushed Armenia out of its camp. I predict we will see a shift toward the US. Soon Iran will be in US control, so Armenia can get its supplies from the south.



Anyhow, it is illogical! No matter the fate of Iran, Armenia always can rely on gas supplies from Iran. Even the most right wing fundamentalists in Iran are Armenia friendly. I really don't understand this move on part of Kocharian, unless bigger things are on stake for which we have no knowlege of.

Armenia should sue Russia for breach of contract. The gas supplies running through the territory of Russia are constantly disrupted be it because of poor service or terrorist attacks. If Russians want to sale their gas for more, they should also take care of the transportation of the gas and the quality of the product!

Edited by gamavor, 23 January 2006 - 05:22 PM.


#12 skhara

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 08:59 PM

I've been reading about this gas issue for a while now. The fact is, Russia realizes the fragile geopolitical situation and she takes advantage of it. Well this may upset folk, but Russia is saying "hey our interest first".

QUOTE
Russia just pushed Armenia out of its camp.


Quiet the contrary as developments have shown. Russia has all but placed Armenia firmly in her camp. As a jealous husband locks up his wife.

QUOTE
I predict we will see a shift toward the US. Soon Iran will be in US control, so Armenia can get its supplies from the south.


Are you serious with this collective statement?

QUOTE
otherwise they would have figured out long ago to drop Russia and look towards Europe.


Looking at whats been happenning, Armenia has kept a balancing act between Iran, Russia, EU, and US.
Drop Russia and look to Europe you say? Over what does Armenia look to Europe? The beasts on her western border?

QUOTE
Russia is a tyrranical country ruled by a dictator, a country who has skrewed armenia for centuries, why are we allied with them, for helping so much during the genocide,


Well actually Russia did help during the genocide.

QUOTE
for helping us keep our lands afterwords,


Well at that time, Russia was no longer Russia.

QUOTE
or for interfering in 1988.


Why do you put Russia and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as the same thing? And how would there not be interference by the Kremlin in 88 when both Armenia and Azerbaijan were part of the USSR?

QUOTE
Georgia does not have similar problems with the Turks so maybe that's why they can stand up to Russia.


Well you've brought up Russia screwing Armenia, what about Georgia screwing Armenia? Anyway, to add to gam's suspicion, we really don't know what's happenning behind the scenes. We have no clue. One has to do with Russia's dominance -- perhaps there are geopolitical implications we can hardly speculate at this point.

This is easier said than done, but Armenia needs a plan, we can't expect that Russia is going to protect Armenia's interest, Russia will go for her own interest first, and if that means screwing Armenia she will. And don't be naive about Europe, Europe will screw Armenia just the same if Europes interest dictates screwing Armenia.

Armenia has to have something others want and compete for. Armenia has to put herself in a position not to be circumvented, otherwise she will be getting screwed. Alliance with Russia is not a bad thing, but Armenia has to find a way to be able to exert her own pressure on Russia.

QUOTE
Russia is a tyrranical country ruled by a dictator


What's wrong with a tyranical dictator? Armenian people, I ask you to elect me as your tyrant. I promise to be a wise and benevolent tyrant. Do not worry about such things as "lack of resources". Resources do not have to be dug from the ground, resources can be created. I will put intense expansion on the energy sector. To fund my energy projects, I will send AGB agents to wealthy worldwide Armenian diaspora and demand exorbitant sums of cash. I will show Russia the finger if need be, but be willing to give her a tight embrace if the situation calls for it. I will not allow any deaming to the Armenian people "discussions" with the turk -- under my tyrannical rule the turk is to be considered an abyss. So, in conclusion, vote for me. smile.gif

Oh and one more thing. Nuclear weapons will be a must. I will use Stalinesque tactics to achieve my goals.

Edited by skhara, 23 January 2006 - 09:45 PM.


#13 MosJan

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 12:09 AM

the way i see it it's bear's friendship ( ARji @nkerutyun )
it's good till he hugs you then you have marks on your "back" ( if only on your back )




bear is a bear - drunk or in hibernation or ........................





lets face it we have no friends - even if we do they can't afford to help Armenia in any way

#14 MosJan

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 01:38 AM

OUR GAS SUPPLIES WILL LAST ANOTHER 10-15 DAYS

*

There is about 80 million square meters of gas in the gas stores of Armenia. Today «ArmRusgasard» lets out 4.8-5 million square meters of gas a day, but the pressure decreases day by day. According to the information from «ArmRusgasard», in winter about 6.8 million square meters of gas is consumed a day. {BR}

Because of the explosion of the gas pipeline near the border of Armenia and Georgia, Armenia has stopped to supply Georgia with energy and closed the pipe supporting the Hrazdan Thermo Power Station.

«ArmRusgasard» promises to fix the pipe by January 25. If it does so, there will be no restrictions of gas provision.

#15 MosJan

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 01:41 AM

Mozdok-Tbilisi Gas Pipeline Blown Up: Georgia and Armenia Deprived of Russian Gas
23.01.2006 18:45 GMT+04:00 Print version Send to mail
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Georgia and Armenia cannot receive gas from Russia. On Sunday, several explosions have occurred on the Mozdok-Tbilisi section of the gas pipeline, as a result, gas supplies from Russia to the South Caucasian countries was cut off. As the Russian Emergency Ministry says, the explosions occurred at 02:55 a.m. (Moscow time) near the Lars check-point in South Ossetia (Russia). The ministry cannot confirm yet whether the explosions were caused by terror activity or some technical reasons. According to preliminary assumption, the gas pipeline was damaged by technologic reasons.
The first explosion occurred at the North Caucasus-Transcaucasus branch (diameter 1200 mm) 30 kilometers to the south from Vladikavkaz near the Lars check-point. Then the branch of a reserve branch gas pipeline Mozdok-Tbilisi (diameter 700 mm) exploded and kindled. The cut-off coincided with switching to market prices and extremely cold weather. As Ekho Moskvy radio station reports, the accident was caused by technical reasons, the explosions could happen because of the low temperatures. However, the South Ossetian police does not rule out that it was a diversion, reported IA Regnum.

#16 MosJan

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 01:44 AM

Information on Transferring of 45% Stake in Iran-Armenia Gas Pipeline to Russia Not True
23.01.2006 21:34 GMT+04:00 Print version Send to mail
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ RA President's Press Secretary Victor Soghomonyan said that the information that Armenia proposed Russia 45% stake in the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline does not correspond to reality. In his words, yesterday Armenian and Russian Presidents Robert Kocharian and Vladimur Putin voiced satisfaction with the beginning of the Year of Armenia in Russia and discussed issues referring to the export of Russian gas to the RA. “The parties agreed to continue talks. To all appearances the final decision will be taken in mid February,” Victor Soghomonyan noted, Mediamax reported.

To remind, Kommersant daily reported that Moscow has given an ultimatum for its strategic ally: either gas price will be raised to $110 or Armenia will hand to Gazprom its gas infrastructure and then enjoy cheap gas for one more year. Robert Kocharian accepted the ultimatum and is willing to transfer a 45% stake in the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline under construction to Russia.
! Reproduction in full or in part is prohibited without reference to «PanARMENIAN.Net».

#17 MosJan

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 01:45 AM

True or not - but the old saying gosss - Chka sut vori kes@ jisht chi

#18 MosJan

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 01:54 AM

ARMENIAN, RUSSIAN LEADERS AGAIN FAIL TO AGREE ON GAS PRICE

*

article's photo
The presidents of Armenia and Russia failed to hammer out a final agreement on the price of Russian natural gas during their latest talks in Moscow on Sunday, officials in Yerevan said on Monday. The issue is thought to have topped the agenda of President Robert Kocharian’s meeting in the Kremlin with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. It followed their joint attendance of the opening ceremony of Armenia’s Year in Russia, which featured speeches by the two leaders and performances by prominent Armenian artists. “I wouldn’t say that the negotiations were only about the gas issue,” Kocharian’s press secretary, Victor Soghomonian, told RFE/RL. “As you know, they opened Armenia’s Year in Russia and the opening concert was broadcast by Armenian Public Television.” “Naturally the presidents spoke about the gas issue after the concert and agreement was reached to continue the negotiations. We hope that a final agreement will be reached by mid-February,” added Soghomonian. Kocharian and Putin praised the “strategic partnership” binding their nations both during their face-to-face meeting and the opening ceremony. But none of them mentioned the gas dispute in their speeches and televised remarks. Nor did they issue any statements after their talks. Armenia has until now paid $56 million per thousand cubic meters of Russian gas. Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom monopoly has put forward a much higher price tag: $110 per thousand cubic meters. It agreed last month to give Yerevan a reprieve until April 1. Citing a “highly placed source” in the Kocharian administration, the Moscow daily “Kommersant” claimed on Monday that the Armenian leader offered the Russians to keep the gas price unchanged in return for a 45 percent stake in the Armenian section of a pipeline that will pump Iranian natural gas to Armenia. “But even after taking such an unfavorable step, Yerevan is not sure that Moscow will not demand a greater share in the constructed pipeline,” it said. But Soghomonian denied this. “I am familiar with that report,” he said. “The facts cited there do not correspond to reality. The Armenian side made no such offers.” Asked whether the Russian side offered any swap deals, Soghomonian said: “Unfortunately, I am not aware of those details.” Speaking with RFE/RL last week, a spokesman for Russia’s state-run Gazprom monopoly said that Armenia will not be charged more for the gas if it agrees to give the Russians control over an incomplete but modern plant in Hrazdan and the right to use Iranian gas. Prime Minister Andranik Markarian has spoken out against any asset handovers to Russia. The dispute is increasingly casting a shadow over close political and military ties maintained by the two countries since the Soviet collapse. Moscow’s apparent drive to exploit the issue for tightening its grip on the Armenian energy sector is causing an anti-Russian backlash in Yerevan. The past few weeks have seen an unprecedented amount of anti-Russian rhetoric aired by Armenia’s leading television stations controlled by the Kocharian administration. Opposition politicians and commentators critical of Russia have been frequent guests on their talk shows. The state-run Armenian Public Television likewise lambasted Russia during its prime-time news program on Saturday. And just as it gave live coverage of the Moscow concert attended by Kocharian and Putin the next day, a top news anchor of another pro-government channel accused the Russians of subjecting Armenia to a “gas blackmail.” (Itar-Tass-Photolur photo)
* By Ruzanna Khachatrian

#19 MosJan

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 02:18 AM



MSNBC News Services
Updated: 5:30 a.m. ET Jan. 23, 2006

TBILISI, Georgia - Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili accused Moscow of sabotage after explosions early on Sunday knocked out the main pipeline in southern Russia that supplies gas to Georgia and Armenia.

Russian officials blamed the blasts on anti-Moscow insurgents in its southern region of North Ossetia.

But Saakashvili, who has irritated the Kremlin by pushing his ex-Soviet state closer to the West, said he did not believe the Russian explanation and accused Moscow of cutting gas supplies and triggering an energy crisis just as sub-zero temperatures hit his tiny Caucasus state.

“This morning there was a serious act of sabotage on the part of Russia on Georgia’s energy system,” he told a news conference.

“Basically what happened is totally outrageous and we are dealing with an outrageous blackmail by people who do not want to behave in a civilized way,” Saakashvili later told Reuters.

He said he believed Russia was trying to force Georgia to surrender ownership of its domestic gas pipeline network to Moscow — the subject of long-running negotiations.


Neither he nor Georgian officials offered any evidence for his accusations.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, in a sharply worded statement, warned that Saakashvili’s remarks would have serious implications for relations between the two countries.

“The comments ... from Tbilisi cannot be described as anything other than hysterical and confused,” the ministry said in the statement, which was quoted by RIA news agency.

“It is as if all the members of the Georgian government are competing with each other to use this situation as an opportunity to crank up their anti-Russian campaign,” it said
.

Alternate delivery route
Gas flow resumed in Georgia on Monday after energy officials said reserves were nearly exhausted.

The gas is coming from neighboring Azerbaijan which takes its gas via a separate pipeline from Russia.

Georgia, whose relations with Moscow have been prickly since a pro-West government took power two years ago, stepped up its allegations that Russia had deliberately cut off the gas, though officials have not so far offered any evidence.

“It was not by chance. It was a deliberate action against Georgia,” Georgian parliamentary speaker Nino Burdzhanadze told Russia’s Ekho Moskvy radio.

“I am more than sure that major Russian forces, including special services, are unfortunately interested in destabilizing the situation,” she added.

Two explosions
The pipeline to Georgia was knocked out overnight Saturday by two explosions in quick succession on two sections in a mountainous part of North Ossetia.

Local news agencies quoted unnamed Russian security officials as saying they suspected anti-Moscow insurgents, who periodically carry out attacks in the mainly Muslim Russian side of the Caucasus that includes Chechnya.

Saakashvili said Georgia was suffering the same fate as Ukraine, which had its supply of Russian gas cut off earlier this month in a contract dispute, in the process reducing supplies to major European states.

Ukraine’s pro-Western leadership had said Moscow was using its huge energy resources as a political weapon.

“I think the world should wake up to this kind of behavior. Yesterday it was Ukraine, today it is Georgia and tomorrow it might (reach) everywhere where Russia sells its gas and electricity,” said Saakashvili.

Russian officials said an explosion 120 miles away, also early on Sunday, had knocked out the high-voltage line through which Georgia imports extra electricity from Russia.

The temperature in the capital Tbilisi on Sunday was minus-23 degrees Fahrenheit, bitterly cold for a country known for its sub-tropical Black Sea seaside resorts.

Queues formed at shops selling kerosene, firewood and gas canisters. Schoolchildren were told to stay at home on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Armenia’s gas supplier said supplies from Russia had stopped but reserves were being used to supply consumers.
© 2006 MSNBC Interactive

#20 MosJan

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 12:54 PM

Armenia Receives Gas from Azerbaijan, U.S. Department of State Says
24.01.2006 19:48 GMT+04:00 Print version Send to mail
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ U.S. officials have intervened to help sort out the latest European natural gas crisis that erupted after Russian supplies to Georgia were cut by pipeline explosions, the State Department said. “We did talk to the parties that were involved in the issue over the weekend. Presently natural gas flows into Georgia and Armenia via an alternative pipeline passing through neighboring Azerbaijan,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. Meanwhile it should be noted that the statement by the State Department spokesman is erroneous. Armenia receives gas not from Azerbaijan, which refuses from any economic cooperation with Yerevan until the Nagorno Artsax conflict settlement, but from the Abovyan gas reservoir and does not receive any assistance from the neighbor states.

The causes of the pipeline explosion are not known yet. We called upon the Russian authorities to clear them up. Russia says, it was a terrorist act. However, independently of the cause of the blasts it is important that Armenia and Georgia’s neighbors joined effort and rendered assistance in the crisis. The U.S. intervened to help sort out the crisis and we are proud of it,” Sean McCormack said. He said the American officials involved included Dan Fried, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, his deputy Matthew Bryza, and US diplomats in Georgia, reported Mediamax.
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