August 9, 2008
Ships are grouping in the Black Sea near the Georgian aquatic border. A unnamed naval source has said that the move is necessary to prevent arms deliveries to Georgia by sea. He added that the naval blockade of Georgia will help avoid escalation of military actions in Abkhazia. Radio station Echo of Moscow reports that several Georgian Internet publications have confirmed that the Russian Black Sea fleet is regrouping.
Witnesses say that several Georgian military vessels attempted to approach the coast of Abkhazia. The Interfax correspondent in Sukhumi reports that the Georgian attempt was countered by the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which opened preventative fire. The Interfax information was confirmed by enforcement bodies in Abkhazia.
Apparently, after Georgian forces were repulsed from Tskhinvali, air connections with Georgian were broken and Georgian military activity was suppressed and Russia began economic suppression.
Georgia in the meantime is accusing Russia of attempting to blow up the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Georgian Minister of Economic Development Ekaterina Sharashidze stated that Russian Air Force planes attacked the pipeline, but missed their target. “That makes it clear that the targets of the Russian military were not only Georgian economic objects, but international objects on Georgian territory,” she said. Reports were received throughout the day that Russian military planes struck targets in Georgia, however, they were military, not economic.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline runs a total of 1768 km., of which 443 km. stretches through Azerbaijan, 249 km. through Georgia and 1076 km. through Turkey. Construction of the pipeline began in 2003 and it began to pump oil on May 18, 2005. About 1 million barrels of oil per year are pumped through the pipeline. Construction of the pipeline cost $4 billion, not counting the filling of the pipeline, financial servicing or interest costs. The shareholders in the pipeline are BP (30,1%), AzBTC (25%), Chevron (8,9%), StatoilHydro (8,71%), ТРАО (6,53%), ENI (5%), Total (5%), Itochu (3,4%), Inpex (2,5%), ConocoPhillips (2,5%) and Hess (2,36%).
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