Ingorovka last week said combined Iranian and Azerbaijani emergency supplies could total up to 4.5 million cubic meters of natural gas, enough to cover the needs of the Georgian capital Tbilisi. He also said Georgia would be charged a "symbolic price" for Iranian gas.
The deals with Iran and Azerbaijan were struck after twin explosions on 22 January heavily damaged Russia's gas export pipeline to Georgia and Armenia, bringing supplies to those two countries to a halt.
Russian deliveries resumed on 29 January, but were halted after a few hours due to freezing cold.
(Prime News, Civil Georgia, ITAR-TASS)
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Russia's rising appetite for Central Asian gas is a direct result of the shifting fortunes of Gazprom, the state-run Russian company that controls lucrative exports. The company's total gas production has flatlined at around 550 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year. With major fields yielding less as they age, Gazprom has chosen to maintain its all-important gas balance by purchasing gas on the side -- from independent producers in Russia and from Russia's Central Asian neighbors -- instead of investing in the lengthy and costly development of untapped Arctic fields...(more)