Ruptured Pipeline to Be Repaired by Saturday

TBILISI (Armenpress/RIA Novosti/RFE/RL)–Repairs of the natural gas pipeline linking Russia and Georgia are expected to be finished on Saturday–according to a statement released by the Georgian president’s press service.

"The meeting [between the Georgian president’s envoy and the repair company] focused on speeding up the repairs on the gas pipeline and resuming natural gas deliveries to Georgia in [their] previous volumes."

The statement also says that if repairs are conducted 24 hours a day–the gas pipeline will be restored on Saturday.

A section of pipeline carrying gas to Georgia and Armenia was ripped apart by two explosions early Sunday in the Russian republic of North Ossetia.

The Armenian gas operator–ARG–has since been using its underground emergency reserves to keep up supplies to the population and thermal power stations that meet about 40 percent of the country’s electricity needs.

ARG spokeswoman Shushan Sardarian said at the current rate of gas consumption the emergency reserves will last until next Sunday. Gas rationing would allow Armenia to last for three more days–she said.

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