March 19, 2014 - 15:51 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The government of Armenia approved Iranian donation program to extend $2 million for development of gas infrastructure in border towns of Meghri and Agarak. In turn, Armenia will provide $500 thousand in abolished taxes and duties for imported equipment and pipes. The relevant memorandum of understanding was inked during the visit of Iranian President to Armenia in 2011.
At the March 19 sitting, the government introduced a number of amendments to the 2014 state budget to include clauses on the joint program with Iran, governmental press service reported.
Meanwhile, according to RFE/FL Armenian Service, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisan stated that Yerevan's acquisition of the 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Tehran will be discussed at the Tehran-hosted economic cooperation session in May.
“Iran may apply non-market approach in exporting natural gas to friendly countries,” Iranian ambassador Mohammad Raiesi told journalists on December 6, 2013.
"Iranian gas supplies will cost Armenia much more than Russia-provided gas, with Tehran seeking to sell gas at international prices," Energy Minister said later.
As Armen Movsisyan stated on December 12 in parliament, “though ready to provide necessary amounts of gas, Iran offers a price of $400 per 1000 cubic meters against Russia-offered $189, with the deal not beneficial to Armenia.” “Should Iran agree to lower the price to $100, I’m ready to start negotiations immediately,” the Armenian official said.
As Russian leader Vladimir Putin during the December 2 visit to Armenia, the Russia-supplied gas will be priced at $189 per 1000 cubic meters, with Moscow to offer a number of discounts before Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union, including cancellation of a 30% export duty for oil and oil products.