Tuesday, October 10 2017 13:55
David Stepanyan

The head of the Armenian government and the Iranian minister discussed the issue of cooperation between Armenia, Turkmenistan and Iran

The head of the Armenian government and the Iranian minister discussed the issue of cooperation between Armenia, Turkmenistan and Iran

ArmInfo. On the second day of the official visit to Iran, Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan received Iranian Minister of Oil and Gas Bijan Namdar Zangane at his residence in Tehran.

According to the press service of the Armenian government, during the meeting the interlocutors expressed satisfaction with the state of Armenian-Iranian relations in the energy sector. They expressed their conviction that there are great prospects for the development of bilateral cooperation between neighboring states. The sides agreed that the visit of the RA Prime Minister to Tehran will give a new impetus to mutually beneficial cooperation between Armenia and Iran in the energy sector. The Iranian side stressed that it is interested in expanding and deepening relations with Armenia.  During the meeting, the issue of expanding the volume of supplies of Iranian gas in the framework of the electricity program in exchange for gas was discussed. They also touched upon the construction project of the Meghri HPP, a number of issues related to the three-way cooperation between Armenia and Iran- Turkmenistan.

In the opinion of ArmInfo analysts, it is Armenia-Iran-Turkmenistan cooperation that is the main issue on the agenda of Karen Karapetyan's visit to Tehran. Deputy Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Hayk Harutyunyan, who led the Armenian delegation to the talks in Ashgabat on the possibility of gas trading, is talking about finding the most optimal ways of supplying Turkmen gas to Armenia, ArmInfo correspondent told ArmInfo. Earlier it was reported that Ashbahad offered Teheran to increase the current volume of gas swap for Armenia and Azerbaijan to 15 million cubic meters per day. But, as Hayk Harutyunyan noted, in the case of Armenia, it is a matter of much smaller volumes. According to him, the capacity of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline is only 6 million cubic meters of gas per day. And it is physically impossible to provide so much swap volume. "There are a few inaccuracies in this report, but the fact that negotiations are going on is a fact, when there are results, then they will be presented to the public," the deputy minister said.

On January 13, at a press conference in Yerevan, responding to a question from ArmInfo, RA Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan stated that the Armenian government is working on various swap schemes for obtaining gas by the republic. According to the premier, swap gas supplies to Armenia were discussed with the ambassadors of Iran and Turkmenistan on the first working day of 2017.

Recall that the only way to supply natural gas to Armenia from Russia through the territory of Georgia is permanently becoming the subject of discussions in the context of the development of relations between Moscow and Tbilisi. However, today it is non-alternative, since the existing second gas pipeline from Iran is not able to provide the necessary volumes. According to ArmInfo analysts, it is quite possible that Armenia seeks to establish swap supplies of Turkmen gas through Iran. We are talking about the supply of Turkmen gas to Iran on one side, which, in turn, will import similar volumes from Armenia to Armenia.  For Yerevan, additional gas volumes at a relatively low price are all the more important, given the start of the construction of a new thermal unit at the Yerevan Thermal Power Plant, as well as the construction of a similar block in Vanadzor.

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