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The cost of travelling by public transport in Armenia could also rise because soon of the sharp increase in the price of natural gas imported from Russia, Transport and Communications Minister Gagik Beglarian said on Wednesday.

“If gas becomes more expensive, that will affect all spheres [of economic activity,]” he told journalists in parliament. “You don’t need a lot of intelligence to understand that.”

Beglarian declined to comment on the scale of the possible rise in bus fares in and outside Yerevan. “There have been no such discussions in our ministry so far,” he said, arguing that utility regulators have not yet set new domestic gas tariffs.

The vast majority of commuter buses and minibuses in Armenia run on liquefied or pressurized natural gas. The average bus fare in Yerevan has stood at 100 drams (around 25 U.S. cents) per ride for more than a decade. It has remained unchanged despite previous gas price rises.

Natural gas is also used in large amounts by thermal power plants generating over 40 percent of Armenia’s electricity. The Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) said last week that it will likely raise electricity tariffs because of the increased cost of Russian gas.
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