The RSO President and OSCE delegation discussed gas supply problem

Tue, 13/01/2009 - 17:02

The President of RSO Eduard Kokoity met the OSCE delegation consisting of Special Representative of the Chairman-in-Office (CiOSR) Ambassador Charalampos Christopoulos, CiOSR Adviser Alexis Katsareas, OSCE Secretariat Representative Peter Svedberg and Energy Expert Werner Johannides.
The South Ossetian side was represented by the Deputy Prime-Minister Khasan Pliev, Foreign Minister Djioev Murat and Deputy Foreign Minister Alan Pliev.
The meeting focused on issues related to resumption of Russian gas supply to South Ossetia through the territory of Georgia.
In his introductory speech Eduard Kokoity stated that he considers the actions of the Georgian authorities refusing to resume gas supply to South Ossetia as negligence and the decision by the Georgian Parliament as inhumane.
«Together with the Russian Federation we take all efforts to resume gas supply to South Ossetia. During the Geneva talks, we had contacts with the OSCE and the EU and requested them to facilitate resumption of gas supply», underscored the President. He emphasized that “the illegal actions by Ukraine with its unauthorized consumption of Russian gas meant for Europe raised concerns in all European countries».
«European structures have immediately started seeking a quick solution to this problem, since they were left without gas for several days. It’s been almost six months that South Ossetia thanks to Georgia is left without natural gas and if compared with Europe, thanks to Georgia’s aggression, houses were destroyed in South Ossetia.», noted Eduard Kokoity. He underlined that South Ossetia was ready to provide whatever support to ensure that the OSCE delegation have a chance during the today’s monitoring to verify that the pipeline on the territory of South Ossetia was absolutely ready to receive gas.
In response, Ambassador Christopoulos stated that the gas cut-off was “a serious humanitarian problem”.
“This why we decided to organize out visit here today in order to assess the problem, find the cause and its possible solution. This is why our delegation includes an expert whose task is to assess the technical side of the issue”, stated Ambasador Christopoulos. According to him, during his consultations with Georgian Foreign Ministry, he has stressed that the gas problem is purely humanitarian and should not be politicized.
“The Georgian side fully agreed that the problem is a humanitarian one and that the only reason why gas supply could not have resumed was technical,” stated Ambassador Christopoulos.
When responding to Eduard Kokoity’s question, what exactly the Georgian side meant under technical problems, the Energy Expert Werner Johannides said that reportedly the pressure in the pipeline supplying South Ossetia should be 3-4 atmospheres, while the Ossetian engineers might provide pressure of 1 atmosphere.”
«I think that there is a leakage in the pipeline it is not hard to asses where the leakage spot is located”, said Johannides. The expert continued with an odd statement that the “Georgian side turned off the valve on 8 August (when the Georgian aggression started) having assumed that the consumption of gas had considerably increased.”
In response, Eduard Kokoity reiterated that there was no technical problem. «This is political question, a political pressure imposed by the Georgian leadership on South Ossetia. One should not be a good expert to make a simple conclusion that before the August war, we received gas through the same existing pipeline. If we speak more concretely, the Georgian side has no will to resume gas supply to South Ossetia. This is obvious from the decision taken by the Parliament of Georgia. The issue we are discussing might be solved in three days, though it has not been solved for already six months”, - stressed the President. He addressed the delegation with a request to international organizations to intensify their efforts to eventually resume natural gas supply to South Ossetia.”
“The games that Georgia imposes on us in the form of monitoring or else, are used to drag time and put pressure on the population of South Ossetia. Hence, it is high time to put an end to this by taking joint efforts”, underscored Eduard Kokoity.
“We welcome your will to find the truth and will facilitate your activities as much as possible to ensure that the whole world is aware of the illegal policy of the Georgian leadership”.
The meeting participants proceeded with the question of future cooperation between the OSCE and the Republic of South Ossetia. The CiOSR Ambassador Christopoulos presented to the RSO President the documents setting forth possible frames for cooperation between the OSCE and South Ossetia.

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