ArmInfo. The situation around Russian gas gives yet another reason for the distrust of the current Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Political scientist Aghasi Yenokyan expressed a similar opinion to ArmInfo. On December 31, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan reported on the upcoming price hike for Russian gas for Armenia.
At the same time, he expressed confidence in maintaining domestic tariffs for consumers at the same level, in fact, at the expense of the Gazprom Armenia margin. Today, Gazprom's wholly- owned subsidiary sells gas to the population for $ 290 per thousand cubic meters. On the same day, Gazprom announced the gas price increase for Armenia at the border from $ 150 to $ 165 per thousand cubic meters.
"Even at the stage of implementing the Velvet Revolution, its leader Pashinyan promised society several times to reduce the existing domestic gas tariffs. Meanwhile, today he makes every effort to at least prevent them from increasing. And if he does not succeed, the increases in gas prices will the reason people don't trust his words and steps. I think that Pashinyan's position in gas negotiations with Putin leaves much to be desired, and if he wants to avoid another increase in the cost of gas and all related processes, he will have to understand certain concessions, "- he stressed.
At the same time, the political scientist expressed surprise at the lack of negotiations on the formation of a new gas price for Armenia, despite the fact that Yerevan was well aware of the expiration of the terms of the previous prices. "Gas negotiations began literally on New Year's Eve and today the parties are trying to reach some hasty agreements," Yenokyan said.
According to a political analyst, a similar background and timeline do not carry anything good to Armenia, since by doing so Moscow is able to bring a political component to purely gas negotiations, in other words, to draw out certain political concessions from Armenia in exchange for maintaining the same gas price.
Meanwhile, according to analysts of ArmInfo, even in the face of rising gas prices at the border to $ 165 per thousand cubic meters, there is a potential for lowering domestic tariffs. First of all, this is due to a significant decrease, if not complete leveling of corruption risks around gas pricing as a result of the same change of power in Armenia. In this regard, the new government, apparently, has already voiced its demands to the Russian company in the light of the changed rules of the game. And the material tax violations already identified as a result of recent inspections by Gazprom Armenia are the best confirmation of this. And, judging by the statement of Pashinyan and his spokesman about the invariance of domestic tariffs, these requirements are taken into account in one way or another by Gazprom. In this light, the increase in gas prices at the border seems to be the most acceptable compromise for both parties.