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More reasons against building the Khudon Dam

By Natalie Osipovi
Thursday, November 28
A conference called “The Khudon Hydro Electric Station (HES) as a Provoking Factor of Georgian Territorial Decomposition” was held on November 26th. IB Euro Caucasian University and the political party Salome Zourabishvili – Georgia’s Way hosted the conference to discuss the effect the proposed Khudon hydroelectric power station will have on the environment.

Many people argue that building the dam will damage the natural and historical heritage of Svaneti. However, discussion over possible construction is still underway.

The chairman of Georgia’s Way Teimuraz Murvanidze said that the public has to know how dangerous the building of the Khudon HES is.

The leader of non-parliamentary opposition New Right Mamuka Katsitadze mentioned that the decision about building the Khudon HES should not be solved only by the government, a certain political party or a specific person.

Katsitadze explained that the ecological issues have to be studied and local interests should be taken into account before a final decision is made. Katsitadze thinks that this problem should become the subject of public discussion.

The former minister of defense, Davit Tevzadze, thinks that building the Khudon HES is nothing more than an opportunity for Russia to threaten Georgia.

He thinks that the result of building the hydroelectric station will be the following: the population of Svaneti will be moved to other regions, which will create a depopulated area. “This is quite dangerous and our northern neighbor might take advantage of this." Tevzadze said.

The organizers of the conference worry that if the Khudon Dam is built, Russia will try to make “a bridge” between South Ossetia and Abkhazia and thus strengthen its occupation over the Georgian territories.

Teimuraz Murvanidze said recent developments around the upcoming Vilnius Summit have proved that Russia means to prevent the Eastern Partnership countries, such as Georgia, from joining the EU.