Baku, Azerbaijan, July 30
By Elena Kosolapova – Trend:
The Georgian Ministry of Energy has no information on the conclusion of contracts for the import of Iranian gas to the country, Mariam Valishvili, Georgia's deputy energy minister, told Trend.
Earlier, the Iranian IRNA news agency reported with reference to the country’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh that the test agreement on the export of Iranian gas to Georgia via Armenia has been concluded.
Valishvili added that the Georgian government has not concluded the contracts for such gas supply.
“Theoretically, private companies can sign such a contract,” she said. “The Georgian legislation does not forbid it. However, in this case, these contracts must be submitted to the Georgian government for registration. But the government did not obtain such contracts.”
“Moreover, the Georgian gas pipeline infrastructure is controlled by the state,” she added. “Private companies and the Georgian government must sign a contract on gas supply within the country. Such contracts were not signed either.”
"We have no idea about the volumes, companies which signed a contract and the area from which the gas will be supplied," she said.
She also said that in case of the need of ensuring the supply of Iranian gas to Georgia, gas can be supplied via both Armenia and Azerbaijan as there is the necessary infrastructure on the border of both countries.
“If the issue is swap supplies by using transit infrastructure from Iran to Georgia and from Russia to Armenia, this should be discussed in quadripartite format, rather than bilateral,” she added. “Such talks were not conducted.”
She stressed that Iran is a major supplier of gas to the world markets and Georgia has repeatedly talked about its interest in Iranian gas purchases in the future.
"The preliminary working meetings on this issue were held,” she said. “But for several months the meetings were not held and visits were not made to discuss this topic. The Georgian government does not hold any specific negotiations on this issue."
At present, Azerbaijan is the main supplier of gas to Georgia. Small volumes are also supplied from Russia.
Follow the author on Twitter:@E_Kosolapova