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Georgia's Speaker Urges Europe To Diversify On Energy

Nino Burjanadze (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, May 14, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The speaker of Georgia's parliament has called on Europe to diversify its energy resources and back oil and gas pipelines that bypass Russia.

Speaking at RFE/RL's headquarters in Prague, Nino Burjanadze said it was important not to depend on a single source for energy and that Tbilisi had suggested Europe use alternatives such as Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.

"We can transport Caspian oil and gas resources to Europe," Burjanadze told a briefing. "We will try to bring more and more arguments how important it is to diversify energy resources. These ideas are not against somebody, this is for everybody. We are not suggesting Europe block any other pipelines, or other countries, we are suggesting to use alternative sources, because Europe needs more energy, and in [the] Caspian we have more and more oil."

Burjanadze's comments came after the presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan agreed on May 12 to build a pipeline that would carry natural gas from Turkmenistan to Europe via Kazakhstan and Russia.

Speaking later in an interview with RFE/RL, Burjanadze also described Russia has having behaved in an "uncivilized manner" over a recent spy scandal.

But she said it was important for dialogue to continue and added that President Mikheil Saakashvili planned to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 10.

Read the whole interview with RFE/RL's Salome Asatiani

Georgia's Road To The West

Georgia's Road To The West
Georgian parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze giving a presentation at RFE/RL's Prague broadcasting center (RFE/RL)

BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE WEST: Georgian parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze told an RFE/RL briefing that her country is under intense pressure from Russia.


Listen to the entire briefing (about 55 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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