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Energy security issues discussed

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, May 6
An International seminar on Energy Security issues convened at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, on May 5. Leading the Georgian delegation was Giorgi Baramidze, the Minister of European Integration. Georgian deputy foreign minister Giga Bokeria, deputy minister of Energy, Mariam Valishvili, NATO representatives and independent analysts.

Seminar discussions focused on global energy security issues, and Georgia’s potential role as well as discussions on how Russia’s monopoly on the European energy market could be diluted. “Based on Georgia’s geographic position, it can play a significant role in assuring the world energy security. NATO-Georgian relations and collaboration in this area are very important for our organization,” Ivan Jestrab, Ambassador of Gzech,stated. “Energy security issues are very real and important not only for Georgia, but for the whole world. NATO pays significant attention to these issues and collaboration with the organization is a very important step forward for Georgia’s future,” Baramidze stated. According to Bokeria, the energy sphere has become a subject of political trading in the world,” unfortunately, which is why we are permanently searching for alternative sources of supply.. Our country has a significant role to play as an energy corridor and our interests connected with the issues are obvious, which is why we are involved in discussion on world security issues. The seminar is to end on May 6, and until that date we will try to find ways to enhance our capacity to provide security for energy markets,” Bokeria said.

As Analyst Gia Khukhashvili told the Messenger,” the situation surrounding energy supply has significantly worsened in the world recently which is why influential countries and organizations like NATO are searching for alternative resources. Russia has a monopoly on the European energy supply and Russia is very successfully using its monopoly to gain political influence. As for Georgia, our role is to provide a way around this monopoly on the market. It can be said that it is one of the main reason we are interesting for Europe and Euro-Atlantic leaders. Based on our geographic position, Georgia is able to provide alternative energy transit for the west, and because of this, Russia’s monopoly on the market will be significantly reduced. Two years ago, we had a serious chance of providing this alternative, but political events took place in Georgia which created obstacles to achieving it.

An unstable political environment in our country is the main negative factor for fulfilling it. Russian aggression and the present Georgian authority weakened the process,” Khukhashvili said and added that Georgia will have a chance of turning into as energy transit corridor for the west only when political risks are reduced in the country,

As for the analyst Soso Tsiskarishili Georgia still preserves an important role for Europe as energy corridor between East and West,” energy security issues are intertwined with the country’s security. Georgia needs additional security guarantees. Our role for Euro -Atlantic space remains as important but not as much as it was several years ago, as the situation in energy markets has significantly changed. I mean the relation between of energy suppliers and customers. Several years ago their relations were on consensus and now they can not agree on some important issues. These kinds of seminars can play very positive role if they are oriented towards finding sincere and real solutions for resolving current strained situations,” Tsiskarishvili told the Messenger.