Russia warns Georgia, Ukraine on energy

11:04, 10 May 2006
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 If the two countries withdraw from CIS.

Russia has warned Georgia and Ukraine about the loss of energy benefits if the two countries withdraw from the Commonwealth of Independent States, according to UPI.

Moscow said Sunday it was considering canceling benefits for the two former Soviet republics if they withdrew from CIS.

"In the wake of statements made by the leaders of Georgia and Ukraine about the possibility of their withdrawal from the CIS, the government of Russia is considering canceling a number of benefits, which these states enjoy within the CIS," a Russian government source told the RIA-Novosti news agency.

Russia offers CIS countries several benefits, including lower energy prices. The nations rely on Moscow for 60 percent of their energy needs.

Georgia has begun consultations with Ukraine to withdraw from the association of the former Soviet republics.

"We have already started consultations with Ukraine on withdrawal from the CIS. We recently discussed with a group of Ukrainian representatives in Tbilisi the entire range of our relations with the CIS and the benefits, if any, of our countries` stay within the organization," said Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili.

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