Armenia’s membership in the customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will lower the increased cost of Russian natural gas supplied to the country, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisian said on Wednesday.
Movsisian linked the relevant decision made by President Serzh Sarkisian to a Russian-Armenian agreement on the gas price which he announced earlier.
Movsisian said on August 29 that Russia has agreed to help Armenia subsidize the price that went up by 50 percent in April. He said two sides are making “final adjustments” to the agreement and will make it public in the next few days.
Neither side has divulged details of that agreement so far, however. Movsisian on Wednesday said only that “the subsidy issue will be solved within the framework of the customs union.” “We have already found a solution and it has to do with the customs union,” he told journalists without elaborating.
The gas tariffs for Armenian households rose by only 18 percent in July, with the Armenian government pledging to subsidize the rest of the price hike. The government made clear that the subsidy, worth an estimated $150 million per annum, will not be financed from the state budget.