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Foreign Minister claims Rosneft operates legally in Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, January 8
Georgia’s Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili stated that the Russian oil company Rosneft wich has just emerged at Poti Port, does not operate on the occupied territories of Georgia and accordingly does not violate law.

Rosneft has sheltered at Georgia’s Poti Port owing to the business operations carried out at the end of 2014.

This has caused much controversy. The opposition United National Movement (UNM) is demanding a swift reaction to this “unacceptable” development and stating the current government should ban the company in Georgia as the latter is undertaking an illegal operation in the Black Sea Basin through an unlawful license issued by the de-facto government of Abkhazia.

"This is a very delicate topic despite the fact that we are dealing with business transactions. This is a very complicated issue. The government of Georgia continues to supervise the Poti Sea Port very closely. It is our strategic object and, therefore, the port will be open to everyone and no one will be restricted at all,” Beruchashvili said.

Beruchashvili states that according to her information, the Law on Occupied Territories of Georgia is not being violated at this stage.

“The Ministries of Economy and Foreign Affairs are studying this issue,” said Beruchashvili.

Rosneft released a statement on December 29 that reads that the company agreed to buy 49% of stakes in Petrocas Energy Limited, and to launch a joint venture with the company for its oil shipment, storage, retail and logistics activities in the South Caucasus.

Some government members had detected the former government’s trace in the deal.

“Petrocas was the property and a pocket company of the former government,” Minister of Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili said. Some officials also said that they had no information concerning the deal.

The opposition UNM, which accuses the current government of being pro-Russian, dismissed Kvirikashvili’s suspicion and stated that the Georgian Dream was well-informed over the agreement and details of the deal.

Rosneft is sanctioned by foreign countries owing to Russian actions in Ukraine.