Armenian authorities want Moscow to reduce the price for natural Russian gas. Negotiations have been going on for more than a month, and all deadlines have long expired, but no agreement has been reached so far, Gazeta.ru reports.
From January 1, 2019, Russia has raised natural gas prices for Armenia from $150 to $165 per one thousand cubic meters, but this is the so-called border price, while the internal tariff for the population has remained unchanged.
"Tariffs did not rise as the main supplier of gas to the country, Gazprom Armenia (100% owned by Russian Gazprom) is making savings. The company is preparing to optimize internal costs by reducing its almost 6,000 staff in 13 branches and cutting investment plans. The size of the optimization is still unknown, but a a cut of 500-1000 employees might be happening," the paper says.
"At the same time, it is not excluded that Gazprom Armenia will not be able to raise enough funds by optimizing costs and will apply for a hike in the domestic gas tariff this year.”
Theoretically, it would be possible to keep tariffs unchanged if the Armenian authorities subsidized the prices of natural gas for domestic consumers. But Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan rejected the option at the beginning of this year, the article says.