Russia has sent “positive” signals in response to an Armenian government request to cut the price of its natural gas delivered to Armenia, Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian said on Tuesday.
“I have already said that the president of the republic [Serzh Sarkisian] met with the Russian president [in Moscow on March 10] and they discussed this issue,” said Abrahamian. “It is now discussed by the two governments.”
“We hope that [the gas price] will definitely be reconsidered because there is a positive approach by the Russian Federation’s authorities,” he told journalists. “Our aim is to have the price somewhat lowered so that our population and businesses get cheaper gas.”
Armenia receives roughly 80 percent of its gas from Russia, currently paying the Gazprom monopoly $165 per thousand cubic meters. Due to the sharp drop in international oil prices, the market-based Russian gas tariff for European countries has plummeted from an average of $350 to around $200 per thousand cubic meters. This means that the Russian discount for Armenia is now far less significant than it was two years ago.
Abrahamian said in January that Yerevan has requested a price cut and is now negotiating with the Russians on the issue. No Russian-Armenian agreements have been announced yet.
President Serzh Sarkisian was accompanied by Armenian Energy and Natural Resources Minister Levon Yolian during his March 10 trip to Moscow. Yolian said afterwards that the two sides will likely work out soon “final solutions and agreements” on the gas tariff.