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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Friday, July 2
Sale of gas pipeline will bring Russian troops into Georgia

Rezonansi writes that the Government has failed to overcome the temptation to sell off the main gas pipeline. Analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili says that the only possible buyer of the pipeline is Russia's Gazprom because there is no commercial interest in purchasing it. Gazprom needs the gas pipeline to consolidate its influence in the region, and Moscow will have the right to station its forces along its own gas pipeline.

"I could not have believed that the Government would take the gas pipeline from the list of facilities which cannot be privatised. We do not even know what Saakashvili signed at his meeting with Sarkozy, but on the basis of this development we may infer that the Government has decided that it prefers Bendukidze's politics to Washington's. The new bill might as well be called Long Live Moscow, Viva Putin’" Soso Tsiskarishvili said.

‘There is no commercial interest in buying the gas pipeline. It is a political investment. The sale of the gas pipeline compromises the state’s energy security. Steven Mann, Condoleezza Rice, even Bush have warned the Government to rethink selling the gas pipeline. This looks like a concession to Russia," analyst Gia Khukhashvili says.

The analysts agree that Georgia having its own main gas pipeline weakens Russian influence in the region. Therefore, possession of this pipeline is vital for Russia. The analysts regard the pipeline as a means of combating Russian aggression. Russia might other use the pipeline to the ring its troops into the region on the pretext of protecting its property, the newspaper says.

Nugzar Tsiklauri: no one is afraid of the opposition's threats

Ruling National Movement MP Nugzar Tsiklauri states in the interview with Kvela Siakhle concerning the President's recent offer to negotiated with Russia, "We should not take words out of context. No one plans to talk to Russia without preconditions. The de-occupation of the occupied territories should occur first. We have said that we are ready to have relations with Russia in this context. The statement was a response to the continual claims of the Russian authorities that relations had broken down due to Saakashvili. Any leader of Georgia defending the national interest will be unacceptable for Russia," Tsiklauri says.

"We do everything openly. We have said many times that we want normal relations with our neighbours, but this will not be possible while our territories are occupied. Today Georgia contacts Russia through the Embassy of Switzerland and insinuations about the virtual emissaries are foolish. There are opposition leaders who say that relations with Russia are necessary but in order to have them we should submit to Russia denying Georgian’s aspiration to become a full member of the international community. Nino Burjanadze and Zurab Noghaideli do not recognise that Russia has occupied the territories of Georgia and are trying to shift the blame for the aggression against the Georgian people," Tsiklauri says.

"The opposition failed to united around a common ideology. They plan to unite now on the basis of their common hatred of the Government but they will fail again. We witness bad language after every opposition failure. Okruashvili is a wanted man. What will he do if he comes to Georgia, lead a rebellion? The threats we are hearing are very characteristic of common people. Noghaideli was threatening to break the hands and teeth of certain individuals two months ago, but what has he done? No one will ever organise a rebellion in Georgia and no one is afraid of their threats," Nugzar Tsiklauri says.

Asked about reports that the Austrian Police are investigation a possible criminal conspiracy to overthrow the Georgian Government, Tsiklauri says, "The statements that part of the opposition tried to remove the Government in Georgia through ties with criminals are not politcal. They appear in a police report from the Criminal Police of Austria. I know that Georgian law enforcers are actively cooperating with the Austrian authors of the report. It also said that a Georgian Government member was part of this conspiracy, and we obviously need to find out who this is. I doubt that the Austrian police rely on untrustworthy sources."