#11 - JRL 7209
Georgia to Answer Before the US for Cooperating with Gazprom
TBILISI, June 4. Personal US Presidential Advisor for Energy Questions Steven Man will arrive in Tbilisi on June 5 for a two-day visit. The Georgian government chancellery told Rosbalt that Man will meet with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze to determine what guided Georgia to enter into an energy alliance with Gazprom. It is expected that the conversation will be built on the US postulate that Georgia must not take any steps to prevent the functioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erserum gas pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Dzheikan oil pipeline.
Last week Gazprom President Alexey Miller and Shevardnadze reached an agreement of cooperation between Georgia and Gazprom. In part the agreement provides for the creation of a joint venture company GruzRosGazprom and rehabilitating Georgian gas pipelines and export of Russian gas to Georgia, Eastern Turkey and Armenia.
US Ambassador to Georgia Richard Miles has already expressed his dissatisfaction with Georgia's plans. At a recent meeting with Government Minister Avtandil Dzhorbenadze, Miles required that the US be informed of all Georgian energy projects. The US believes that the Georgian alliance with Gazprom will negatively impact the economic viability of exports of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline.