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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Georgia Not Buying Russian Power

Georgia stopped buying Russian electricity last week and will halt imports of Russian gas starting at the end of the year as the country seeks to reduce its dependence on Russia amid worsening relations, Kommersant reported Friday.

Georgia stopped using Russian electricity Aug. 2 after completing the upgrade of its Ingurskoy hydroelectric plant and "will not have even a theoretical need" to buy it after March 2007, when Georgia connects its grid to those of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, the newspaper said, citing Georgian Deputy Energy Minister Achil Nikolashvili.

Georgia will also stop buying Russian gas at the end of this year when a gas main on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is completed, Kommersant said.

Georgian Economy Minister Kakha Bendukidze said "a senior Russian official" told him Russia would use its "levers of influence" over Georgia in the event of continued tensions between the two countries, Kommersant reported. Sourcing electricity and gas from elsewhere ensured Russia could not impose "power sanctions" on Georgia, Bendukidze said.