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The Russian Foreign Ministry accused on Wednesday the Organization for Security
The Russian Foreign Ministry accused on Wednesday the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the European Union of inaction on Georgia's gas cutoff for its breakaway Republic of South Ossetia.

As a result of Georgia's August 7-8 attack on South Ossetia, provincial capital Tskhinvali was largely destroyed, and gas and electricity were cut off. Prior to the conflict, Georgia had cut off the water supply, and in late August supplies of Russian gas were also stopped.

"For four months the population of the republic of South Ossetia was forced to survive without the basic natural source of electricity and warmth in severe winter conditions," the ministry said in a statement. "Regrettably, the OSCE and the EU, which widely publicize their humanitarian activities, in this case show their disregard."

Gas had been supplied to the republic through the Gori-Tskhinvali pipeline, which leads from Russia to South Ossetia via Georgia. Georgia said supplies had stopped due to pipeline damage on South Ossetian territory.

"When a probe revealed that the South Ossetian part of the pipeline was in perfect order, Tbilisi brought up information about damages in the Georgian part of the pipeline, allegedly received during military actions in August 2008, saying that the regions close to the pipeline needed to be cleared of mines," the document says.

Russia says no military operations were carried out near the pipeline, and accuses the Georgian side of ignoring Russia's proposals to repair the pipeline and clear any mines.

"However, we received no clear answer from either the Georgian side or the OSCE," the document says. "European Union mediators... are also silent."

On December 18, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom said it would launch direct natural gas supplies to South Ossetia in 2009. Residents of South Ossetia currently use liquefied gas, received from four Gazprom's LNG-filling stations.


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