Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom said it has signed a contract with Georgian company, Gasko+ on supply of 100 million cubic meters of gas from July until the end of this year.
Gazprom said on June 16 that the contract was signed by its CEO Alexei Miller and commercial director of Gasko+, Giorgi Mamaladze, on the sideline of the annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Mamaladze, a Russian citizen, is 10% shareholder in Gasko+; rest of the shares are owned by Irakli Bitsadze, who has dual Russian-Georgian citizenship.
Gasko+ is better known in Georgia for its operations in a small town of Senaki in western region of Samegrelo, where it is supplying gas to households and other customers since 2007.
The company distributed total of 3.5 million cubic meters of gas in Senaki in 2015, according to the Georgian Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission’s data.
Chief executive of Gasko+, Davit Bagaturia, declined to comment on the deal with Gazprom, when contacted by Civil.ge on June 17.
Roman Gotsiridze, who runs in the upcoming elections as an MP candidate from opposition UNM party, said that the government is trying to bring into Georgia more Gazprom gas via “bypass” routes using private companies.
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The allegation has been denied by the authorities, who say that they have nothing to do with this reported deal and they would take “appropriate measure” if share of Russian gas on the Georgian market reaches “risk level”.
“These are relatively small volumes, but if the volumes increase… and consequently if the risk parameters increase too, we will take appropriate measures,” Mariam Valishvili, deputy energy minister, said on June 17.
“As far as I know the deal is not yet closed,” Dimitri Kumsishvili, the economy minister and first deputy PM, told journalists on June 17. “As far as the threats are concerned, it is premature to speak about it given that it is impossible to analyze whether the contract is about… We have not seen the contract and we don’t know where this volume of gas will be directed if such contract is at all finalized.”
According to Gazprom it supplied 300 million cubic meters of gas to Geotransgas, a company operating chain of gas filling stations in Georgia.