Opposition in Armenia insists the country revoke its anti-state Armenia-Russia gas agreement
03.12.2013 A photo from the armenia-am.gazprom.com website
The Heritage party, one of the opposition political forces in Armenia, is demanding an annulment of the Armenian-Russian gas agreement which was concluded in 2013. The party termed the aforesaid document as ‘anti-state’ and called for withdrawal from this agreement.
The Armenia-Russia gas agreement was concluded after the Russian Gazprom company purchased the ArmRosgazprom company’s remaining 20% share. Armenia’s USD 155 million debt to Russia was covered at the expense of those shares.
Under the gas agreement, the Armenian side undertakes to purchase Russian gas until 2043 and to refrain from adopting any laws and resolutions that will contravene the interests of Gazprom, i.e. of the Russian side.
The opposition circles regarded this situation as shameful, noting that Armenia pays more for gas than the the other members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). That’s despite the fact that Armenia is also a member of this organization.
A study conducted by the Union of Informed Citizens revealed that Armenian citizens pay approximately the same amount for Russian gas as citizens of Ukraine, which has extremely tense relations with Russia, whereas citizens of Russia’s ally, Belarus, pay 6-7 times less in winter periods than Armenian citizens.
In this regard, the Heritage party also touched upon the issue of possible diversification of energy sources, be it procurement of natural gas from Iran or power generation in the country using renewable energy sources.
Experts believe Armenia can procure gas from alternative sources, like, for example, Iran. On a side note, the Iranian gas will be twice as cheap as the Russian counterpart.
The Heritage party also referred to the EU and USA’s statements regarding the possible investment of billions of dollars in Armenia’s energy sphere. The opposition party believes that the West’s proposal ‘isn’t just a guarantee of Armenia’s independence, but a serious chance to develop the country’s economy.”
The authorities haven’t responded to the aforesaid statement yet.
Here is JAMnews’ previously published analytical article about the prices for natural gas that Armenia procures from Russia.