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Azerbaijani gas talks continue

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Tuesday, April 15
Government officials will continue talks over importing Azerbaijani gas with Baku later this month, the news agency Regnum reports.

Tbilisi hopes to import more gas from Baku to minimize its reliance on Russian energy sources.

Georgia formerly paid USD 120 per cubic meter of Azerbaijani gas, but last year the supplying company—Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR—announced that it would increase the price after the contract expired in January.

Last month Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze visited Baku to discuss, among other things, Georgia’s gas supply with Azerbaijani government officials and SOCAR representatives.

The latest round of talks, conducted between Energy Minister Aleksandre Khetaguri and SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev, concentrated on technical issues, according Regnum. The next round, scheduled for April 24, will focus on tariffs.

Azerbaijani news media have reported that the price could be raised to around USD 190 per cubic meter, a significant jump from the former price but still less than what Georgia pays for Russian gas, at USD 235 per cubic meter.

Georgian officials strongly deny that this figure has been settled on.