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Georgian Opposition Angry Over Power Deal With Russians

TBILISI -- Georgian opposition leaders have slammed the government for striking a deal with a Russian state-controlled company to manage the Enguri hydropower plant, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports.

Energy Minister Aleksandre Khetaguri announced on January 12 that a preliminary agreement was reached with the Russian Inter RAO company to jointly manage Enguri.

The opposition says it is "incomprehensible" that the government would make a deal with Russia, with whom it has cut diplomatic ties after August's war.

Opposition deputies also criticized officials for not taking into account Abkhaz interests, saying that the Enguri plant is a successful example of cooperation between Tbilisi and Sukhumi.

The Enguri power plant's dam is located in Georgia proper, whereas the station is in the breakaway republic of Abkhazia.

Georgia receives 60 percent of the power from the plant, with the rest going to Abkhazia.