Tigran Sargsyan: Armenia, Russia will likely agree on gas price in 2012

About the gas price

The negotiations on the price of the gas supplied by Russia to Armenia are expected to be completed before the end of this year, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said.

“I think we should complete the negotiations before the end of this year. We have reached agreements on the main principles and we now have some technical details we need to work on,” he said in an interview with Interfax.

Sargsyan said the parties are negotiating the conditions on which gas supplies will be continued, including the price.

“The prices will change with regard for the situation on the world markets. Obviously, they cannot be fixed forever. The global economic situation changes, prices go up or down, and, of course, the negotiating parties reach agreements on the methods for determining the price,” the Prime Minister said.

At the same time, he did not specify how the gas price will change for Armenian consumers, saying that everything will depend on the gas prices on the global market.

“I don’t want to send pessimistic impulses to our society. Let’s wait. It is incorrect to present provisions that are taken out of context for public debate during the negotiation process. It’s wrong. For this reason, everything will become clear when we complete the negotiation process,” Sargsyan said.

Sargsyan said the negotiations with Russia are going constructively.

About the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant

“According to a preliminary agreement, the construction of a new energy unit of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant was to start in 2014. However, the events in Japan that followed the accident at Fukusima Power Plant, took extra time from us. The international community started to review its attitude towards nuclear power plants, tightened the security norms. As a result, we initiated additional international inspection of the functioning plant and tightened the demands regarding the new unit to be a 100% confident of its conformity with the actual security standards,” the Armenian Prime Minister stated.

Tigran Sargsyan said investors from the US, Japan, Middle East are interested in investing in the construction of the new energy unit.

About EurAsEC and the Customs Union 

An Armenian-Russian group is now working on ways to stimulate integration processes, taking into account some geographic characteristics, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said.

“Armenia said it is interested in integration processes in the CIS and EurAsEC. During the recent meeting, the presidents of our countries raised that issue and Vladimir Putin pointed out very precisely that Armenia has no common border with EurAsEC and the Customs Union,” Sargsyan told Interfax.

He said there is no precedent in world practice when a country without a common border is a member of the Customs Union, and therefore a working group has been created on the orders of the presidents of Armenia and Russia.

“The group will work out instruments that will stimulate integration processes with regard for these characteristics,” Sargsyan said.

About sanctions against Iran

The sanctions imposed by Western countries on Iran are damaging the economy of Armenia, as we have two ways to reach the world markets – through Georgia and Iran, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said. “International sanctions practically nullify our opportunities to work with Iran. This creates serious problems for Armenia. “Therefore, the volume of commodity turnover with Iran and through Iran is not that large,” he added.

“At the same time we face problems exporting goods to the Middle East, which reduces the opportunities for diversification and creates more difficult conditions for competitiveness with higher transport fees. The restrictions imposed on Iran, including those on the currency transactions, limit the contacts between the business entities of Armenia  and Iran,” the Prime Minister said, adding that all this negatively affects the Armenian economy.

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