ArmInfo. A meeting of the commission for the investigation of the validity of gas and electricity tariffs started in the National Assembly of Armenia. The head of the commission, Deputy President of the Parliament Mikael Melkumyan suggested inviting energy experts to the meetings of the commission. Touching on the tariffs for gas and electricity, the Deputy President said that now is the right time to raise these issues.
The Deputy President stressed that at the border, Armenia buys gas at a price of $ 150 per 1 thousand cubic meters, and it reaches the consumer twice as expensive.
The purpose of the commission will be to study the entire chain through which gas is supplied to the consumer, and to understand the situation. He stressed that it is also necessary to clarify the issue related to technical and non-standard losses and the profit from the sold gas received by Gazprom Armenia. The Deputy President also noted that by the decision of the Acting Prime Minister a working group has been formed that deals with the same issue, in connection with which there is a need to organize the work of the parliamentary commission so that its activities do not duplicate the research conducted by the government structure. In an interview with journalists, Melkumyan stated that the government and business representatives sought not to reduce tariffs in order to form a profitable system. "We, as parliamentarians, should ask two questions. First, is there a need for parliament to develop legal contractual terms that would be a reasonable compromise between consumers and producers. Secondly, we need to understand why all the problems of energy companies should be solved at the expense of consumers? Especially, if they have a monopoly position and there are losses in the networks, "the Deputy President said.
When asked why the parliamentarians from the Tsarukyan Bloc faction started addressing this issue right now, and whether they want to win the hearts of voters, Melkumyan said that the MPs launched this initiative in mid-September, when there was no talk about early parliamentary elections to be held in December of this year.
To recall, on October 10, the Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia Garegin Baghramyan, answering the question of ArmInfo, noted that it is too early to talk about the possibility of reducing gas tariffs for Armenian consumers. According to him, a working group has been formed, which is studying this issue. Only after the balance calculations are made, the forecasts on consumption volumes, exchange rates, and when discussing the issue with Gazprom Armenia and Armenia's Electric Networks it be will possible to talk about the possibility of lowering energy prices. To note, on October 10 the government of Armenia approved the agreement with the government of the Russian Federation on the pricing of gas.
As Garegin Baghramyan noted, until December 31 of the current year the price of gas will remain unchanged and will be $ 150 per 1 thousand cubic meters. The Minister stressed that delayed consideration of issues is due to procedural costs.
To recall, currently Armenia receives gas from Russia at $ 150 per thousand cubic meters at the border. Domestically, the consumer is already paying $ 290 dollars per thousand cubic meters of gas, large subscribers who consume more than 10,000 cubic meters pay $ 242, and greenhouses and processing plants pay $ 212. Meanwhile, following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 8, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced an agreement of the parties to study together the pricing of Russian gas in Armenia. According to him, the gas is supplied to the republic at a very low price, but there is a high markup in Armenia. Later, during a meeting with the Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia Garegin Bagramyan, the head of the Armenian government announced his intention to discuss the price of Russian natural gas with Vladimir Putin. Nikol Pashinyan noted that he intends to meet with the Russian president in November and in December and discuss with him, among other issues, the price of gas. "I'm getting ready to meet with Putin in November and presumably in December. Prepare documents for me on gas prices so that I can discuss them," the republic's prime minister said. In turn, Baghramyan expressed the opinion that the tariffs for Russian gas can be reduced to $ 140 from $ 150 per thousand cubic meters. "The document must be justified," Pashinyan replied.
Earlier, the now former Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia Artur Grigoryan stated that the negotiations on prices for Russian gas between the two countries will be held in November. He noted that Yerevan will not stop looking for ways to purchase cheap gas for Armenian consumers.