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Presidents gather at the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in May 2005 (epa)
19 January 2006 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has called on his government to ensure that by the end of the decade the country is no longer reliant on Russia for its energy supplies.
Addressing an enlarged cabinet meeting, Saakashvili said on 19 January that Georgia should become energy self-sufficient by 2009.
He called on the government to develop its own gas industry, saying the country has enough underground reserves to cover a quarter of its domestic needs. He also stressed the need for Georgia to develop alternative energy sources.
Georgia depends almost exclusively on Russia for natural gas.
Last month, Tbilisi and Moscow reached a tentative agreement under which Russia's Gazprom gas monopoly would this year nearly double the price it currently charges Georgia for gas.
Saakashvili reiterated on 19 January that he believes the price hike is "political."
(Novosti-Gruziya, Imedi TV, Prime News)