ArmInfo. The Armenian-Russian negotiations aimed at reducing the tariffs of the Russian natural gas for Armenia are still underway, Armenian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Levon Yolyan told reporters on the sidelines of an Armenian-Canadian business forum on March 14.
He said that the price of 165 USD per 1,000 cu m on the border will be in force till 1 April 2016. At the same time, the minister does not think the gas price may return to the level of 189 USD on April 1. He added that the talks with the Russian Government and Gazprom are still going on. Yolyan pointed out "the can-do attitude of the Russian side and its willingness to continue the discussions on the matter".
"As soon as the outcome of the negotiations becomes clear, the public will be informed of it," the minister said.
To recall, in mid January 2016, the Armenian Government applied to Russia to reduce the tariffs of the Russian natural gas.
To note, on March 10, the Armenian Government approved an intergovernmental protocol, under which the Russian gas price will be left unchanged - $165 per 1,000 cubic meters - until March 31, 2016. The Government also approved a draft suggestion to leave the entire additional profit for Q1 2016 to Gazprom Armenia "to cover the damage caused by the AMD/USD exchange rate fluctuations and help Gazprom return its investments in the assets of Gazprom Armenia." Otherwise, the deputy minister of energy and natural resources Iosif Isayan said, the country would have to recompense that damage by increasing the gas price, which would affect the electricity price too. "The sides agree to develop and approve a model to calculate the financial flows by November 1 2016," Isayan said.
In 2015, Russia approved the preferential gas price for Armenia (on the border). The Government of Armenia signed a relevant protocol to the Armenian-Russian Treaty dated Dec 2 2013 on August 18. Under the protocol, Armenia would be importing the Russian gas for $165 per 1,000 cu m instead of $189 in the period from Jan 1 till Dec 31 2015. It was reported then that a new document would be signed in 2016 if necessary. The reduced price did not apply to ordinary consumers, however. In mid-January, Armenia's government applied to Russia for a lower gas price. The negotiations are still underway.