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Armenian population fears possible regular rise in gas prices

Armenian government assures it continues negotiating with Russia to prevent upsurge of energy resources tariffs.

While the population is expecting the regular rise in prices for natural gas, Armenian government assures it continues negotiating with Russia to prevent upsurge of energy resources tariffs. The results are expected to be announced in late February.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Deputy CEO of ArmRosgazprom Vardan Harutyunyan departed for Moscow to hold talks on the spot. Gazprom’s press office refuses to provide any information on the matter.

According to chairman of the Public Services Regulatory Commission, Gazprom has not produced any notification on the increase of gas prices yet. However, this does not mean that the prices will remain the same, as in September 2010, the Russian giant announced transfer to market pricing with Belarus, Moldova and Armenia in April 2011.

The Central Bank of Armenia said that 12-month inflation rate will be 9.5% in Armenia in the first half of 2011, what will be conditioned by supply shocks late in 2010, including the unprecedented growth in prices for agricultural products and increase in global prices for basic food products and commodities. The inflation pace is expected to slow down from the third quarter to reach 5.3% by the end of 2011.

Serious concerns emerged at the regional level when Azerbaijani media reported that the Georgian authorities are going to offer 25% of shares of North-South gas pipeline, through which Russian gas is delivered to Armenia, on London Stock Exchange. “The control stake sale is not envisaged. This refers to 25% of shares. It may happen next year,” Georgian Minister of Energy Alexander Khetaguri was quoted as saying.

“The sale of shares is within the plans of the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation, what has been numerously reported by the Minister of Energy,” the press service of the Georgian Ministry of Energy told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter. However, according to the source, the sale of shares of a range of Georgian energy companies, including 25% of North-South gas pipeline’s shares is only under consideration, and there are no certain terms.

As to alternative sources, Armenia exports 3 kilowatt/h of electric power for 1 cu m of Iranian gas.

People just hope that the prices for electric energy will not go up and they will no have to cut down trees to heat their houses.

Victoria Araratyan / PanARMENIAN News
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