Pashinyan accuses Gazprom of corruption

Pashinyan accuses Gazprom of corruption

Armenia's State Revenue Committee has carried out an audit in Gazprom Armenia and revealed a number of violations and cases of tax evasions.

According to the committee's press service, during 2016 and 2017, the company provided false data to tax body evading payment of taxes amounting to over few billion AMD.

A criminal case has been filed. Necessary investigative and judicial procedures have been launched to reveal the amount of damage to the state as a result of abuses by the company and to reveal the cases of corruption in gas consumption sector, Interfax reported.

Armenia's acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said earlier that his country fellows do not feel the benefits of low price of natural gas purchased from Russia. "Today, our citizens do not feel that they receive cheap gas from Russia," Pashinyan said to the National Assembly, noting that there are problems in this area that need to be resolved, mainly, inefficient management and corruption risks. 

"I think that the Russian authorities also understand that we approach these issues with all seriousness," Pashinyan said, noting that the government is also working towards a downward revision of electricity tariffs.

Energy security expert Vahe Davtyan told Vestnik Kavkaza earlier that Gazprom-Armenia earns excess profits from the previous discount, but still demands a new discount. "In 2016, the gas price was lowered from $165 to $150 per thousand cubic meters. During this period, the management of Gazprom-Armenia said that the reduced gas price at the border would not lead to a decrease in tariffs for final consumers, since this increased marginality will be used to manage the Armenian gas transmission system and implement infrastructure projects, including the expansion of the underground gas storage facility in Abovyan. Today, Gazprom-Armenia has fulfilled the basic infrastructure obligations, and now it has possibility to be engage in more community-oriented tariff policy," he said, pointing that Gazprom's subsidiary has no reasons to keep high tariffs for consumers.