New gas pipeline to deprive Georgia of last possibility of pressure on S-Ossetia

TSKHINVALI – Georgia will lose the last opportunity to put pressure on South Ossetia with the commissioning of a gas pipeline from Russia, South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity said before a Tuesday meeting with Gazprom representatives.

“One the gas pipeline extension from the North Ossetian town of Dzuarikau becomes operational, our republic will stop receiving gas via Georgia. We will stop using this costly resource, and Tbilisi will lose the last opportunity to put pressure on South Ossetia,” he said. 

“Despite numerous violations and shortcomings on the part of the general contractor, the gas pipeline will be commissioned on schedule – in July 2009,” Kokoity said.

Russian Deputy Regional Policy Minister Roman Panov said on Monday that South Ossetia would start to receive Russian gas this July.

“The construction of a new gas pipeline from the North Ossetian town of Dzuarikau to Tskhinvali began in December 2006. Gazprom is laying the pipeline from Dzuarikau to the Kudarsky Mountain Pass (over 90 kilometers), while Itera is laying the pipeline from the Mountain Pass to Tskhinvali (70.2 kilometers,” he said. “The construction works are on schedule, and the gas pipeline will reach Tskhinvali in July.”

A total of 152 million rubles were invested in the modernization of the South Ossetian gas distribution network in 2008.

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