Russia refused to supply free electricity to Abkhazia. Now the republic urgently needs $2 million
Russia rhas efused to provide free electricity to Abkhazia. Now, in order not to leave the republic without electricity, the government urgently needs to find more than 2 million dollars. This was stated by Minister of Economy Kristina Ozgan at a meeting of the parliamentary committee on economy.
According to a gentleman’s agreement reached between the Georgian and Abkhazian sides after the end of the war of 1992-93, Abkhazia receives 40% of the total amount of generation produced by the Inguri hydroelectric power plant. And until 2020 this was quite enough.
But in recent years, illegal mining has increased consumption of electricity by the republic from 2 to 3 billion megawatts. The resulting deficit was partially covered by the overflow provided by Russia as humanitarian aid. And now Moscow has abandoned humanitarian supplies of electricity. Abkhazia has to pay for the overflow.
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“Covering the necessary electricity deficit this year could total about 900 million rubles [$10 million], of which Abkhazia has already paid 135 million [about $1,500,000]. Now we have discussed the issue of supply in the amount of 200 million rubles [more than $2 million]. The negotiation process with the Russian side has not been finalized yet. It will be known a little later what amount will eventually be needed to cover the deficit already in December,” Ozgan said.
The 2 million dollars is not in the budget of Abkhazia, but must be found by the end of the week.
“We will be looking for money with the whole country so as not to leave the country without light,” Finance Minister Vladimir Delba said.
Meanwhile, the government proposes to solve the problem of chronic electricity shortage with radical measures — by increasing the electricity tariff three times during the next two years.
In addition, the authorities intend to lease out three overflow HPPs (each with a capacity of 40 megawatts), which are part of the Ingur HPP complex.
The agreement on the lease of one of them has already been signed by the government, but parliamentary consent is needed for it to take effect. The details of the deal have not yet been officially announced, but the opposition already dislikes the idea.
“The terms of leasing a facility that generates electricity are contrary to the interests of our people,” says the opposition veterans’ organization Aruaa.
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