September 2, 2008

Russia Could Never Intend to Damage Energy Facilities in Georgia – Putin

Text of report by Russian state news agency ITAR-TASS

Tashkent, 2 September: Russia's actions "did not in any way damage energy facilities on the Georgian territory" including to the Baku-Ceyhan [also known as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan] oil pipeline, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said at a news conference.

According to Putin, "Russia does not pursue the purpose of interfering in any sort of energy processes in the region and did not in any way damage energy facilities on the Georgian territory."

Speaking about the suspension of operations of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, Putin noted that according to the information of the Turkish side, the blast in the Turkish section of the oil pipeline was organized and carried out by the Kurdistan Workers Party.

"There are terror attacks, there is damage, but we have nothing to do with that. We treat our energy facilities very carefully and we are not going to damage anything. We do not and cannot have such a purpose," Putin said.

He noted that "the outflow and inflow of capital are, of course, connected with political events, but in this case there is practically no such influence".

"In this case, these are the events that do not and cannot have any economic consequences," Putin said.

The Russian prime minister noted that Georgia's significance in the global economy and for economic ties with Russia "is minimal, if not null", PRIME-TASS reported.