Gas Tariffs and Political Manipulations

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The issue around gas tariffs was one of the most problematic points on the agenda of the Armenian-Russian relations even during the administration of former authorities.  Putting aside the fact that the Russian side, in fact, sells gas to Armenia at the highest tariffs in the post-Soviet area, it should be noted that the Armenian authorities, in their turn, are rather untalented in regard to this issue.

Not long ago, Pashinyan mentioned that former authorities were the ones guilty of the continuing increase in gas tariffs, and the process was related to the elections. For example, in May 2013, he claimed that the authorities had learned about the increase in gas tariffs before the elections.

The next important event related to gas tariffs happened in December, 2013, at National Assembly when the issue of fully transferring the last 20% stake in Gazprom-Armenia to Gazprom itself was being discussed.  Speaking in the parliament, Pashinyan defined the event as "power for gas".

During one of his speeches in 2015, Pashinyan mentioned that Armenian consumers should await no good news in the report of the Gas Commission, and that the consumers paid $20 million for gas.

During his years in opposition, Pashinyan has repeatedly talked about buying gas at more affordable tariffs from Iran. At one of the discussions, he spoke about that issue while asking a question to the Republican MP Vardan Ayvazyan.

After coming to power, Pashinyan's stance on gas issues changed as in case of many other matters.  In order to conceal the change in stance, the people in power have been using tools for manipulation. So, at first, Pashinyan mentioned that he has no information about the increase in prices, and that they have agreed to continue negotiations over the gas tariffs. When it became clear that Gazprom raised the gas prices for Armenia, Pashinyan did a live broadcast during which he insisted that the gas price would not go up for consumers, and the issue would be solved through certain internal regulations. However, after a while, he announced that the government would not subsidize anything.  Deputy Prime Minister Avinyan said: “All the agreements that we have been talking about are now in force. … I think we'll find specific areas where optimization is possible.” Hence, it is clear that even if Gazprom partially subsidizes gas prices, the rest remains as a burden on the shoulders of the government.

So, we can conclude that the authorities make mutually exclusive statements in terms of gas tariffs, and by doing so they repeat the gross mistakes of their predecessors in many cases.

Համաձայն «Հեղինակային իրավունքի եւ հարակից իրավունքների մասին» օրենքի՝ լրատվական նյութերից քաղվածքների վերարտադրումը չպետք է բացահայտի լրատվական նյութի էական մասը: Կայքում լրատվական նյութերից քաղվածքներ վերարտադրելիս քաղվածքի վերնագրում լրատվական միջոցի անվանման նշումը պարտադիր է, նաեւ պարտադիր է կայքի ակտիվ հղումի տեղադրումը:

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