Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili delivers his speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg (epa)
November 14, 2006 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said Georgia will not pay double the amount for natural gas, as demanded by Russian monopoly Gazprom, because he said the move was politically motivated.
Saakashvili said the price demanded by Russia -- $230 per 1,000 cubic meters -- is "not a commercial price."
The Georgian president said "some of [Georgia's] neighbors are paying $65 in real terms and some are paying $110 or $130."
Saakashvili also rejected Russia's accusations that Georgia is preparing to use force to regain control over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Saakashvili made his comments at a news conference after he had addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Saakashvili had told European lawmakers that Georgia will not diverge from its path of Euro-Atlantic integration because of pressure from Russia.
But he also said it was time for "diplomacy and discussion" to ease tensions with Russia.
(Reuters, civil.ge. Novosti Gruziya, AP)