A very "convenient" accident severs gas lines to Georgia
Having suffered a black eye internationally for intentionally cutting off the gas to Ukraine recently, Russia resorts to the "dog ate my homework" excuse for the latest "mysterious" explosions which have left Georgia shivering without gas or electricity. Gee -- you don't think?.......Nah!!
Telegraph | News | Attack on gas pipeline is 'sabotage by Russia'
President Mikhail Saakashvili accused Moscow of serious acts of "sabotage" yesterday after explosions ripped apart gas pipelines cutting off supplies to Georgia and neighbouring Armenia.
Mr Saakashvili said the blasts were the "attempted sabotage" of his country's energy system and dismissed Russia's explanation - that the attacks were the work of "extremist groups" intent on causing "material damage" - as "unconvincing and contradictory".
The damaged pipeline has left Georgia with minimal gas supplies as temperatures fall to minus 10C
Russia's foreign ministry dismissed Mr Saakashvili's remarks as "hysteria and bacchanalia". Explosions severed the main branch and reserve branch of the Mozdok-Tblisi pipeline in the Russian republic of North Ossetia.
Elsewhere in the Russian North Caucasus an electricity transmission line was also destroyed, reportedly after an explosion that the Russian electricity authorities could not immediately explain.
As Georgia shivered through one of its coldest winters in decades, with temperatures of about minus 10C (14F), Georgia's energy minister, Teona Doliashvili, said the country would run out of gas by today.
A spokesman for Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom said the company was doing all it could to restore gas supplies. Russia's electricity monopoly said it was routing power to Georgia via an alternate line.
Relations between Georgia and Russia have been tense since pro-western Mr Saakashvili was swept to power by the "Rose Revolution" in 2003.
In an interview with the BBC, Mr Saakashvili said the gas pipeline was blown up in "an area fully under Russian control … with a heavy presence of Russian border guards", where there were no local insurgents.
"They happened at the same time, and basically they didn't affect supplies to Russia proper, so we can conclude that it was a very well-organised act."
Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli said Russia was seeking "to make a problem for Georgia in winter, to make the government angry and to create instability". Neither politician offered any evidence to back their claims.
Russia almost doubled the price of natural gas exports to Georgia in January and cut off supplies to Ukraine after it refused to pay a similar rise.