Armenia asks Russia to make new gas discount

Armenia asks Russia to make new gas discount

The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia, Yervand Zakharyan, has announced that Moscow and Yerevan are negotiating the issue of reducing the price of Russian gas.

"We recognize the importance of this issue, which is why we have decided to negotiate with Russia on the issue of the possibility of reducing gas prices for Armenia,'' the minister said, adding that the talks have just started, which is why the results are still unknown, Trend reports.

Earlier, the head of the Armenian government, Hovik Abrahamyan, said that "domestic producers expressed concern to the Prime Minister about the negative impact of energy prices on the competitiveness of local products and the preservation of jobs."

Vestnik Kavkaza asked our experts Tatul Manusaryan and Alexey Belogoriev about the prospects of these negotiations and whether it is worth waiting for new Armenian discounts for Russian gas.

The head of the analytical center Alternativa, the economist Tatul Manasaryan, said in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that significant volumes of gas supplied to Armenia from Russia pass through Georgia, which takes somegas instead of paying for it.

"And it turns out that it is cheaper for consumers in Georgia than the final price, which is higher in Armenia than for the average Georgian consumer. This is the main reason. Then there is not only an objective basis to think about negotiations to reduce gas prices, but we should also prevent the two countries, our strategic partners, from selling gas between themselves, using the currency of a third country. I've negotiated about this many times. Last year this desire was announced by the Prime Minister of Armenia, and Russia met Armenia halfway," the expert said.

The deputy director of the Energy sector at the Institute of Energy and Finance, Alexey Belogoriev, said that negotiations will be difficult because the price level is $165 for 1000 cubic meters of gas. It was calculated taking into account the transportation distance, as well as the transit through Georgia, so it fully meets the economic levels.

"The price for Belarus is now $142 and Gazprom is not going to make a discount for Belarus. The price of $165 for Armenia is at about the same level as Belarus, taking into account transit payments. Therefore, it will be difficult to receive a large discount, despite the fact that the export prices of Gazprom are falling, in particular for European consumers. Frankly speaking, the difference among the level of benefits provided by Gazprom to Belarus and Armenia is decreasing rapidly in relation to prices in Germany and other European countries,'' the expert explained.