YEREVAN, October 15. / ARKA /. In an interview with ARKA news agency Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian said the Armenian government welcomes the arrival of large Russian companies to Armenia. Mr. Sarkisian was asked to comment on the possibility of Russian Rosneft’s entering Armenia’s retail fuel market.
Earlier an influential Russian business newspaper “Kommersant" said citing its own sources that Rosneft was considering entering the Armenian market to become the major supplier of oil products through setting a joint venture with a local oil trader and building a network of 40-50 gasoline stations as well as a fueling facility at the Zvartnots airport in Yerevan. Kommersant said Rosneft refused to comment on this report.
"If large Russian companies arrive at our market, we will welcome it since we are interested in it too," the Armenian prime minister said. However, Sarkisian refrained from detailed comments, urging "not to rush things."
Armenia’s oil market is estimated at 340-360 thousand tons per year. Basic supplies are coming from Romanian OMV via the Georgian port of Poti, and then by rail to Armenia. According to ‘Kommersant’s’ sources, Armenia’s oil market is dominated by two companies- Mika Limited, controlled by Mikhail Bagdasarov, Ltd. and Flash Ltd. The fueling facility at Yerevan Zvartnots airport is owned by Mikhail Bagdasarov, who owns also Armavia national carrier.
Rosneft is the leading Russian oil company and one of the largest public oil and gas companies in the world. Its majority shareholder (75.16% stake) is Rosneftegaz, a 100% state-owned company. Its export terminals are located in Tuapse, De Castri, Nakhodka, Archangelsk. -0-