Shevardnadze confirms Tbilisi's intention to step up co-operation with Russia in power engineering

Georgia-Russia co-operation in power engineering will be continued and expanded with "Tbilisi meeting thoroughly its international commitments," Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze said in an interview with the National Radio on Monday.

"I have repeatedly claimed that the North-South trend will exist and develop in parallel to the East-West energy corridor," Shevardnadze said adding that Georgia's position was quite clear and applicable for US partners.

Last week, the US Presidential Advisor for Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy Steven Mann said in Tbilisi that the Georgian leadership had assumed responsibilities not to conclude such international agreements on natural gas deliveries that would reduce the profitability of the Shakh Deniz project under which an oil pipeline should be constructed from Azerbaijan to Turkey via the territory of Georgia.

Mann said that negotiations between Georgia and the Russian gas giant Gazprom had just been launched and it was yet too early to speak about a possible disruption of the Shakh Deniz project.

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