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Persson in Georgia energy talks

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11:36 CET+01:00
TBILISI. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson have discussed the recent energy supply crisis that set Georgia and Russia at odds earlier this week.

"Energy problems between Russia and Georgia concern not only these two countries. Similar problems may occur with some European country," Saakashvili warned late on Tuesday, adding hope that "cooperation with Russia will deepen and problems will therefore be solved."

"Europe carefully observes the problems with energy supply from Russia to Ukraine and Georgia," Persson in his turn said, adding that "discussions on uninterrupted gas supply can be held in Europe."

Georgia had its energy supply disrupted after two explosions on Sunday wrecked the gas pipeline just across the mountainous border with Russia, which usually supplies the country of nearly five million people with almost all its energy needs.

Though Russia sought to make up for the lack by passing gas through its pipeline with Azerbaijan, the incident sparked an angry exchange between Moscow and Tbilisi as Saakashvili accused Russian authorities of being behind the blasts and said the incident was linked to fraught trade relations as Georgia seeks to decrease its dependence on energy supplies from Russia.

The Russian foreign ministry dismissed his remarks as "hysterical".

AFP

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