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PM in Baku for gas talks

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Friday, March 14
Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze, Energy Minister Aleksandre Khetaguri and Finance Minister Nika Gilauri left on a one day visit to Baku yesterday, where they were due to meet Azerbaijani officials to discuss energy issues, including the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Georgia.

Tbilisi hopes to increase its gas supplies from Baku, to reduce its dependence on Russian gas. Georgia currently purchases Azerbaijani gas for USD 120 per cubic meter, far lower than it pays for Russian gas, at USD 235 per cubic meter. Baku has said that it wants to increase the price Georgia pays for its natural gas.

This latest meeting could put an end to months of speculation over where Georgia’s long term gas supplies will come from, as well as how much consumers can expect to pay.