USA fears competition with Gazprom in Georgia

The USA fears that the coming of Gazprom to the Georgian energy market will hinder the implementation of the project on constructing the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline, sources in the Georgian state chancellery have told RBC citing today's meeting of US Ambassador to Georgia Richard Miles with Georgian State Minister Avtandil Dzhorbenadze. The officials discussed the results of the recent visit of Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller to Georgia. The Gazprom head negotiated the development of energy cooperation between Georgia and Russia, in particular the creation of a joint enterprise to transport Russian gas to Armenia and Turkey through Georgia.

Miles warned Georgia that it should inform the USA of its energy projects, in particular, of joint projects with Russian companies. The USA fears that Georgia's cooperation with Gazprom will undermine economic viability of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline, the Ambassador specified.

After the meeting, Georgian Energy Minister David Mirtskhulava told journalists that the Georgian State Minister "talked away all concerns of the US Ambassador". According to him, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline will not be affected by Gazprom, as it will have its own segment on the Georgian energy market. Georgia is interested in having several suppliers, because "it guarantees the energy security of the country", the minister stressed.

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