YEREVAN, September 11. / ARKA /. Armenia's accession to the Customs Union will guarantee it cheaper price for imported natural gas, Sevak Sarukhanian, deputy head of Noravank research and education foundation said today.
According to him, the failure to join the Russian-led union would mean substantially higher price that would have a very negative impact on Armenian economy.
"But the question is whether accession to the union will guarantee an unchanged price of natural gas. There is no such guarantee, because the Customs Union is still at the stage of formation of a common energy policy. However, the trends in the Russian -Belarusian agreements indicate that Russia will apply the principle of proportionate return,’ he said.
This, he said, does not mean that Armenia will pay as much as consumers within Russia pay because transport costs should be taken into account as well.
"In our case, the main problem is the transit fee we pay to Georgia. The price for Belarus is $190 per one thousand cubic meters. For Armenia the price may be some $210-$220. In any case the price will be much lower than $350-$400 that other countries have to pay,’ he said.
“Armenia is not ready to fully integrate either with the Eurasian Economic Community or the European Union,” a political analyst Yervand Bozoyan countered. According to him, although Yerevan must remain committed to European values to build a real democracy, European integration is fraught with certain risks, as Armenia can not be simultaneously integrated into Europe and cooperate with Russia on security issues.
Speaking about Armenia's intention to join the Customs Union, Bozoyan claimed the country will face serious technical problems because of the absence of common border with any of the Customs Union’s member countries. -0-