News / Europe

    Thousands in Georgia Protest Gazprom Deal

    Supporters of the main opposition party wear Georgian national flags during a protest against buying gas from Russia's state-controlled Gazprom, in Tbilisi, Georgia, March 6, 2016.
    Supporters of the main opposition party wear Georgian national flags during a protest against buying gas from Russia's state-controlled Gazprom, in Tbilisi, Georgia, March 6, 2016.
    VOA News

    Thousands of people protested negotiations between the Georgian government and Russia's state-owned energy giant, Gazprom, Sunday in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

    The demonstrators formed a nearly 7-kilometer (4-mile) human chain, stretching from the Russian Embassy to the government headquarters.

    The protesters said they feared buying gas from Gazprom would make Georgia dependent on Russia.

    The rally was organized by former President Mikheil Saakashvili's pro-Western United National Movement party (UNM), which accuses Moscow of using Gazprom in a bid to prevent Georgia from forging closer ties with the West.

    Azerbaijan deal

    The government said Friday that it had signed a deal with neighboring Azerbaijan to increase gas supplies enough to fully cover Georgian demand.

    However, opposition leader in parliament David Bakradze said Georgian officials "tried to deceive us by saying it was not technically possible to increase gas supplies from Azerbaijan."

    "The Georgian society will not allow this government to undermine the country's energy security," the senior UNM lawmaker said.

    Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze said Saturday that officials had abandoned the plan to buy natural gas from Russia after it had secured a deal with Azerbaijan to purchase additional volumes of gas.

    Technical issues

    Previously, Kaladze had justified the negotiations with Gazprom by saying Azerbaijan didn't have the technical ability to supply more gas. But he said those problems had been overcome.

    Bakradze said protesters had "forced the government to do everything possible to receive additional fuel from Azerbaijan. ... We will not allow Georgia to be under Russia's control."

    Russia and Georgia fought a brief war in August 2008 over the two Moscow-backed breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    Some material for this report came from RFE/RL, AP and AFP.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Sergi0s from: Georgia
    March 08, 2016 3:03 AM
    "Money has no smell" -- used to say Misha The Snot every time he granted a piece of national business to the Russians.

    by: ties from: USA
    March 07, 2016 12:51 PM
    Looks like the CIA must be there.... Just like every where.... The corporate killers running America is about over the only question is the American people going to end the criminals or will other countries do it..... America is close to getting a true American leader Trump who will not bailout corporate America and there criminal killers...If the world removes the criminals instead of the American people America will look like Iraq.

    America economy is a thing of the past and will soon fall... But if the people remove the killer corporate money loving criminals America will have help and a soft landing.... Trump is our only choice.....All counties are tired of Corporate America and there CIA and controlled media destroying world peace and economy.... Hillary who voted for corporate America bailout both in the Bush and Obama area voted for corporate America and not the people.... Hillary for prison 2016

    by: John
    March 07, 2016 8:35 AM
    The obvious solution for Georgia is to obtain its electricity from nukes. Unfortunately the cheapest and easiest way to get nukes is to buy them from Russia. Georgia could, however, buy the uranium on the world market once the nukes were built.

    by: Anonymous
    March 06, 2016 8:07 PM
    Russia has saved Georgia from savage Turks many times.

    The other fact is that Azerbaijan acts as Russia demands it to.

    So it's better for Georgia to have gas from Russia than from Azerbaijan or other countries across the Caspian sea.
    In Response

    by: 558905ties from: USA
    March 07, 2016 12:55 PM
    Russia saved Georgia from America and the EU and NATO in 2008 when Ossetia was attacked by American lead Georgian forces with paid fighters from all of the EU countries and Ukraine... Russia and Chechen military saved then.... Reported the opposite in American media

    by: Ingush from: Ingushetia
    March 06, 2016 5:18 PM
    Good job Georgians, Ingushetia with you. Do not get yourself into russian slavery. Better with the West, its not perfect but more free than russian slave holding state.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    March 08, 2016 2:53 AM
    Nowadays No one remember how many times Russia helped Europe and other countries such as Ukraine . Ukrainians asking to be the part of Russia and pray to save them from Poland, Litva . It' s better for The USA then all the world afraid and depend from The USA.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    March 07, 2016 12:10 PM
    Don't get too excited. Russia is interested in saving Christians and the culture, where the West is interested in just the money and the business. The West wants Georgia to get a leverage on Russia, the moment the West doesn't need that leverage and the business, the West will toss away Georgia like a dirty piece of cloth.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    March 07, 2016 9:42 AM
    I am with you, Ingush!!! Good comment!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora