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Georgia Criticizes Russian Energy Price Hikes

Mikheil Saakashvili (file photo) (RFE/RL) 2 December 2005 -- Georgia's president has criticized Russia for planning to raise the price of its energy exports to former Soviet republics where peaceful revolutions have installed pro-Western leaders.

Mikhail Saakashvili, on a three-day visit to Kyiv, told reporters on 1 December that the move by Moscow is a "political decision."

Russia has said it plans to phase out subsidized gas prices for ex-Soviet republics that are now independent countries and bring them into line with world market rates.

Saakashvili said the price hike would harm Georgia's economy, but vowed that it would not stop domestic changes from taking place.