Russia’s Gazprom giant has decided not to raise, at least before the end of 2020, the wholesale price of its natural gas supplied to Armenia.
In a statement issued on New Year’s Eve, Gazprom announced that the unchanged price is set in a new supply contract which it has signed with Armenia’s national gas distribution network owned by it.
“The contract between Gazprom Export and Gazprom Armenia for the supplies of up to 2.5 billion cubic meters of Russian gas per year will be in effect until the end of 2020,” said the statement.
The announcement came after months of negotiations between Armenian and Russian government officials and Gazprom executives. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the issue when they met in Yerevan in October.
“We talked about a gas price for Armenia that will not break Armenia’s economic dynamics,” Pashinian said afterwards.
Gazprom raised the gas price by 10 percent, to $165 per thousand cubic meters, following Russian-Armenian talks concluded in December 2017. Despite that price rise, the retail cost of gas supplied to Armenian households and corporate consumers has remained unchanged so far.
Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigorian said in late November that the domestic gas tariffs will not rise before April 2020.
Gazprom accounts for at least 80 percent of natural gas imported by Armenia.
The Russian gas price for Europe fell considerably, to around $200 per thousand cubic meters, in the course of 2018.