Armenia sources most of its natural gas from Russia.But ties with Moscow are fraying and Yerevan will soon have another option Iran and Armenia have agreed to double the amount of natural gas Iran sells to Armenia and extend the gas trade agreement until 2030.
The deal was made during the visit of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to Tehran.Memorandum is signed By Majid Chegeni, Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister and Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), and Guner Sanosyan, Armenia’s Minister of Land Administration and Infrastructure, Nov. 1.
Armenia currently imports about 365 million cubic meters of natural gas from Iran every year. “We are currently exporting 1 million cubic meters of gas to Armenia every day, which will double under the new memorandum,” Chegeni said.
The two sides will exchange energy under the 2006 gas and electricity barter agreement. Armenia is getting 1 cubic meter of gas from Iran in exchange for 3 kilowatt hours of electricity produced by Armenian thermal power plants.
Contract expansion has been underway for some time. The increase in gas imports has been made possible by Armenia’s increased power generation capacity, economist Suren Persian told Eurasianet.New thermal power plant built by Renco in Italy Now online in 2021 And we can complement our other supplier, the state-owned Yerevan Thermal Power Plant.
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Even with additional imports from Iran, Russia will remain Armenia’s main gas supplier. Armenia buys more than 2 billion cubic meters of Russian gas annually, paying $165 per 1000 cubic meters.Gas prices in Russia rose by $15 per thousand cubic meters 2019its price does not change.
In April, Armenia started paying for Russian gas in rublesHowever, the rate remains pegged to the dollar price. Supply remains unaffected despite turmoil in the global natural gas market, with Russia shutting off many European customers and wildly volatile prices. 2021, Armenia paid $414 million to Russia for gas.
“Russian gas is still cheaper than Iranian gas,” Parsian said.
Further expansion of Iran-Armenia’s energy trade is likely to proceed in the future.
Electricity is currently supplied to Iran by two transmission lines, but the construction of the third high-voltage line has been significantly delayed and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
In May, Hakob Vardagnan, Deputy Minister for Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, said: told RFE/RL “Armenia will be able to import up to 1.8 billion cubic meters of Iranian gas after completing the long-running construction of a third transmission line connecting it to Iran.”
Increasing gas imports from Iran has been around for a long time, but it is geopolitically opportunistic.
Relations with Russia is nervousthe Armenians are blaming Moscow don’t come to help During the September attack by Azerbaijan.On the other hand, Russia broadcast more important news conflict with Azerbaijan sharpen its attack Against the current leadership of Armenia.
Meanwhile, Iran regularly becomes a close partner with Armenia warning azerbaijan Against attempts to control Armenian territory. October Iran opened a consulate The southern city of Kapan effectively planted its flag in the most tense areas.
In Tehran, Pashinyan and Iranian President Ibrahim Raishi exchanged warm words on many aspects of bilateral relations. Raisi noted that trade between the two countries in 2022 will increase by 43% year-on-year, and the two countries aim to increase total annual trade to $3 billion. “We will definitely reach this goal,” he said. SaidBetween January and August 2022, bilateral trade reached $427 million.
Pashinyan said in Tehran that there is “great potential” for closer cooperation between Armenia and Iran in areas such as energy, agriculture and road building.
Sanossian said he urged Iranian companies to participate in the Syunik road construction project and discussed construction plans with Iranian colleagues. 4 km tunnel Below the pass on the road leading to the border with Iran. The current road he crosses a 2,500 meter pass and is often closed during the winter months due to bad weather.
Regional security was perhaps the most important topic on the agenda. Pashinyan headed directly to Tehran after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev in Sochi on October 30.
“It is important to inform our Iranian partners about what is happening in the context of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, Armenia-Turkish relations and the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Pashinyan said in a joint news release with the Iranian president. told the briefing.
Next, Raisi warned against the influence of “external forces” in the Caucasus. It probably meant the west side.
“The Caucasus region is part of Iran’s history, civilization and culture, and we are sensitive to the Caucasus region. Security and peace in the Caucasus region are important to Iran,” he said. “The presence of outside forces … will only exacerbate local problems.”
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