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Majority refuses inter-faction group on commercial deals

By Messenger Staff
Friday, January 27
European Georgia, which consists of former members of the United National Movement (UNM) party, initiated on Wednesday the creation of an inter-faction confidence group, which would monitor and investigate high-profile commercial deals over the country's important facilities or strategic directions.

Majority Georgia Dream leading figure Mamuka Mdinaradze stated the majority would initiate the creation of an inter-faction group on high-profile commercial deals when there would be “enough grounds” for this.

Mdinaradze made the statement in response to the parliamentary opposition European Georgia initiative about formation of such a group.

One of the main reasons for the initiative was the recent deal between Georgia and Russia’s energy giant, Gazprom, over the gas transportation payment Georgia would receive. The deal was condemned by the opposition and the public expressed its concern.

The new deal with Gazprom reached on January 10 2017 means Georgia will receive money and not in kind natural gas for Russia’s gas transportation to Armenia via Georgia.

Under the previous agreement, which expired on December 31 2016, Russia paid to Georgia for gas transportation by supplying natural gas to the amount of 10% of the volume of all transported gas.

Energy Ministry representatives have stated that monetary compensation would be lower than the price of the gas Georgia received free of charge.

The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, stated Georgia had no other choice but to accept Russia’s conditions.

The Georgian population has not access to the information of how much money Russia will pay to Georgia. Only the Government knows what the amount of the payment is.

The Prime Minister stated the document signed with Russia would be publicly aired as soon as possible.

Mdinaradze stated the public has already received all necessary information about the deal; however this is the controversial statement as all the main questions remain unanswered.

With regards to the creation of the group, if created it must be composed of professionals.

Such a group should have influence on the processes until deals are signed, it should carry out expert analysis of the deals and issue recommendations to the Government. Otherwise, there is no sense to debate the agreement after they are already signed.