The government confirmed on Wednesday that it is considering giving up its minority stake in Armenia’s national gas company in ongoing negotiation with Gazprom over the price of Russian natural gas delivered to the country.
“The option of giving our shares to Gazprom is also on the table, assuming of course that we get proper compensation from them,” Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisian told journalists.
Movsisian met with Alexey Miller, the Gazprom chairman, in Moscow on Monday to discuss ways of helping the Armenian government subsidize the recently increased price of Russian gas by 30 percent. A Gazprom statement said they “looked into the possibility of increasing Gazprom's stake in ArmRosGazprom (ARG) to 100 per cent.”
Gazprom already owns 80 percent of the ARG gas distribution network. The remaining 20 percent belongs to the Armenian government.
Movsisian said the two sides are also discussing alternative solution but refused to elaborate on them. “Negotiations are not yet over,” he said, adding that Yerevan expects to conclude them by the end of this month.
The minister also insisted that Moscow is not exploiting the gas issue to pressure Armenia to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.