According to Energy Minister of Georgia Kakha Kaladze, his country will stop receiving natural gas from Gazprom by the end of 2017, and switch to the natural gas imported from Azerbaijan.
“For today, we decided to fill up with Azerbaijani natural gas,” the official said.
He added that Georgia is going to reduce dependence on Russian gas. For this purpose, a gas storage facility is being built in the country. It is planned to be delivered by 2020.
Georgia does not directly purchase gas from Russia since 2007. At the same time, the country receives fuel as a payment for the transit of Russian gas to Armenia. The fee is 10% of Russian exports to Armenia. This agreement between Gazprom and Tbilisi expired on January 1st, 2017.
The new agreement implies that in 2017 Georgia will be paid for the transit with both money and natural gas, and only with money in 2018. The Georgian Energy Ministry said that this agreement allows Georgia to not use Russian gas at all.
At the moment, Azerbaijan is the main gas supplier to Georgia.