Russia to increase gas prices for Armenians

26 July 2018 17:24 (UTC+04:00)

By Kamila Aliyeva

The hopes of the new Armenian authorities who relied on their rebel image are collapsing one after another.

First, in early July, the calculation of financial reinforcement caused by the growth of European sympathies for Yerevan collapsed.

There was also a reliance on the effectiveness of blackmailing Russia by changing the political course of Armenia. It was expected that for the sake of preserving Armenia in its orbit Moscow would go on all terms, including reducing the price of gas supplied.

However, Moscow proved to be a tough nut to crack and not only did not succumb to blackmail, but also put the traitor in an incomprehensible position. Armenia should have thought twice about the proverb “if you run after two hares, you will catch neither”.

Russia has already made a political decision, the newspaper Hraparak (“Square”) reported. It says that when the term of the current agreement with Armenia expires at the end of the year, the price for gas will be raised.

As one of the Russian experts told the publication, in order this step was not commented as unfriendly towards the Armenian partner in the EAEU, Russia will raise gas prices for Belarus as well, but, then, it will be decreased.

“The price for gas for Armenia will not be reduced, as the new Armenian authorities are not trusted,” he said.

Such a decision by the Russian side is unlikely to surprise anyone. After Nikol Pashinyan came to power, Yerevan did everything to spoil relations with Moscow. And in this regard success was achieved.

The branch of the Russian energy giant Gazprom, Gazprom Armenia, has a monopoly on the supply and distribution of Russian natural gas in the domestic market of Armenia and owns all gas distribution networks.

In early summer, Gazprom's Board of Directors agreed on the acquisition of 5.248 million additional ordinary shares of Gazprom Armenia for 26.38 billion drams, as a result of which the share of Gazprom in the authorized capital of Armrosgazprom was increased from 80 percent to 100 percent.

Gazprom is the only shareholder of Gazprom Armenia. As part of the Gas Transportation System (GTS) of Armenia, there are 1,682.2 km of gas pipelines.

Russian gas is sold to Armenia at the border at $ 150 per cubic meter. This, it seems, is not so much, but three times more than the price for Russian consumers, which outrages the Armenian side, that believes that the price in one economic space should be unified. In Armenia, for some reason, it is believed that local enterprises should buy gas not at 103-118 drams per cubic meter, but for 42-51 drams, as Russian ones.

An agreement, according to which Armenia actually pledged to buy gas only from Gazprom, was signed in December 2013.

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Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva

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