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Government Hopes To Prevent Russian Gas Price Hike


Armenia - Deputy Prime Minister or Armenia Mher Grigorian.

The Armenian government is negotiating with Gazprom in an effort to prevent a further rise in the price of Russian natural gas supplied to Armenia, Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigorian said on Wednesday.

“Every year we address this issue and try agree on at least keeping the price unchanged, rather than raising it, even though there is an insistence on the part of the Gazprom Group that the profit margin set by the 2013 [supply] contract does not satisfy them,” Grigorian told lawmakers. “But that is a working process, and with your permission I won’t say more because negotiations are underway right now.”

“I cannot say what will happen in two or three years’ time. We hope to maintain the same price this year,” he added during the government’s question-and-answer session in the Armenian parliament.

Grigorian spoke the day after Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller visited Yerevan and met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. Very few details of the talks were made public.

The Russian energy giant most recently raised its gas price for Armenia by 10 percent, to $165 per thousand cubic meters, in January 2019. Yerevan tried unsuccessfully to get the Russians to cut it last year, arguing that that global energy prices have collapsed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

International energy prices have rallied strongly this year amid renewed economic growth around the world. In June, Gazprom set its average gas export price for European countries at $240 per thousand cubic meters.

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