BP to relocate 1600 m long section of pipeline if the South Ossetians cause problems
By Ana Robakidze
Tuesday, July 14
For many years Russia has been advancing into Georgian territory gradually and it claimed several more square kilometres of Georgian land in the last couple of days. The new border signs occupation forces recently installed along the administration line near Georgia’s central highway in several villages in Gori municipality cost the country losing an even larger plot of land and even part of the highly strategic Baku-Supsa oil pipeline.
A 1605 km-long part of the pipeline run by British Petroleum is now out of Georgian-controlled territory.
According to the Minister of Energy, Kakhi Kaladze, since the August war in 2008 it has been impossible for BP to monitor this part of the pipeline. However, no disruption has ever been reported. The Minister also said in his recent interview with the public broadcaster, that in the case problems occur on the occupied part of the pipeline Georgian government has already elaborated a plan on how to by-pass the area.
Kaladze said there is no evidence that the Ossetians will request a fee for transiting oil through the occupied territory. But in case the de-facto government starts to cause problems to the pipeline, BP will immediately install new pipes through the Georgia controlled territory.
Prime Minister’s Special envoy on relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze visited the villages in Gori region which got affected by the recent creeping occupation
“This is an obvious provocation, a deliberate provocation, a very dangerous provocation,” Abashidze said.
At this point the Russians have installed only border signs. In the case occupation forces start to erect wire barbers and metal fences as they have done along the most part of the administrative line, locals will lose access to their agriculture lands.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs already released official statement calling on the international community to adequately react on constant occupation of the Georgian territories.
The European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia said right of the residents in Gori villages has been violated constantly and this issue will soon be discussed at the international level.
The creeping occupation will most likely be one of the major topics discussed at the meetings between European Council President Donald Tusk and heads of Georgian government. Tusk should have arrived to Georgia on July 14. However, due to Greek problems the meeting was cancelled. A new date of arrival has not been yet announced.