“Coalition for Euro-Atlantic Georgia” responds to the information made public on January 11, 2017, regarding Georgian government’s decision to agree with Gazprom’s conditions for changing monetary payment method for the natural gas transited to Armenia in lieu of payment with natural gas - that was a case up until now.
We believe that the new terms undermine energy security of the country while the arguments presented by the government in reference to the new contract are unsatisfactory.
We remind the society that the same issue was a subject of heated discussion last year, albeit by the virtue of the unanimous negative response both, from civil society and subject expert community, the terms of the contract had not changed. Moreover, during the meetings at the Ministry of Energy, top executives of the Ministry, sharing our concerns with the possible risks of the new terms of the contract, pledged to the representatives of civil society that they would spare no effort to retain old terms of the contract.
Therefore, we believe, that foremostly, the new contract should be made public, so as we get more information about the specific details. At this point, based on the information available, we believe that the government should present additional explanations regarding the following matters:
1. What has changed since the last year, when this position was declared inadmissible for the government?
2. Why should the seasonal deficit of the natural gas be filled with Russian gas?
3. Considering seasonal deficit, what steps had been taken during one year period in order to discuss the issue of getting additional volumes from different suppliers?
4. Whether the price of the gas transit is calculated in accordance with the Energy union requirements and whether the cost has been approved by Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission.
5. Whether the negotiations were supported by subject matter expert’s views and whether international partners were involved in order to get best possible terms.
Similarly, we believe that special hearing on this issue should be conducted in the parliament, where the members of the government, along with providing answers to these and other questions, will present complex outlook on the energy security policy, and on the strategy of realization of this policy in the framework of the National Security Concept of Georgia.
The 23 member “Coalition for Euro-Atlantic Georgia” aims to facilitate Georgia’s full-fledged integration in Euro-Atlantic structures. The members of the Coalition are the following organisations:
1. Transparency International Georgia
2. Civil Development Agency
3. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy
4. Open Society Georgia Foundation
5. Georgian Reforms Associates
6. Atlantic Council of Georgia
7. Georgian Farmers Association
8. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information
9. The Economic Policy Research Center
10. Green Alternative
11. Georgian Center for Security and Development
12. Media Development Foundation
13. UN Association of Georgia
14. Society and Banks
15. Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies
16. Georgian Democracy Initiative
17. Georgian Institute of Politics
18. Regional Centre for Strategic Studies
19. In Depth Reporting and Advocacy Center
20. Voice from Georgia
21. Liberal Academy Tbilisi
22. Union Safari
23. World Experience for Georgia
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