YEREVAN, January 17. / ARKA /. A former Armenian parliament member Vardan Bostanjyan downplayed today fears that the government’s decision to sell its 20 percent stake in the national gas distribution company ArmRosGazprom (ARG) to Russian Gazprom would have dire consequences for the country’s energy independence.
The sale gives the Russian gas giant total control over the Armenian company. The deal had been agreed between Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at a meeting on December 2, 2013.
The agreement was signed January 16 in Moscow by Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller and Armenian Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisyan following its approval by the government earlier that day.
According to Bostanjyan, Gazprom will not act to the detriment of Armenia, but he added that Armenia will have no right to vote on decisions of the now fully Russian-controlled company.
The purchase price will cover around half the $300m debt Armenia ran up between 2011 and 2013, when Yerevan decided against raising the gas price for consumers.
The Russian gas holding will be supplying 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Armenia in 2014-2018. The price will be determined by a formula which is used to determine the price for domestic consumers in Russia. In 2012 Gazprom supplied 1.7 billion cubic meters of gas to Armenia. -0-