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Georgia Offers To Help Repair Damaged Russian Pipeline --> Pipes at the South Pars gas field in Iran (file photo) (epa) 25 January 2006 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today indicated he is growing impatient over delays in restoring a damaged Russian pipeline that supplies much of Georgia's gas needs.

Addressing reporters while visiting a Tbilisi canteen, Saakashvili called on Russia to let Georgian specialists take part in the repair works.

The works is being conducted by KavkazTransgaz, a subsidiary of Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom.

KavkazTransgaz Deputy Director-General Igor Tkachenko today said flaws in the pipeline were delaying progress.

Twin blasts heavily damaged the Mozdok-Tbilisi pipeline on 22 January, cutting off gas supplies to Georgia and Armenia.

Georgia accuses Russia of sabotaging the pipeline. Moscow denies the charge and says it is investigating the incident.

Azerbaijan has sent emergency gas supplies to Georgia in a bid to compensate for the drop in Russian deliveries. Iran has also offered to help.

Saakashvili has said he wants Georgia to be meet all its energy needs itself by 2009.

Georgia is currently looking at Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Iran as potential alternative gas suppliers.

(Imedi TV, NTV, Civil Georgia)

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