by Ashot Safaryan
Armenia's debt for the Russian gas was not a fixed amount, but was calculated during the latest negotiations. The remark came from Vache Gabrielyan, Minister-Head of the Government Staff, in response to the question from RFE/RL Armenian Service regarding Armenia's over 300mln dollars debt that has come to light only now.
Vache Gabrielyan, who previously occupied the position of the finance minister, said that it is Minister of Energy and Natural Resources that should answer the questions regarding the debt to ArmRusgasprom.
"I had no information on the final amount of debt, indeed, as the final figure was calculated during the negotiations and then made public by Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisyan," he said.
As for the views that the debt for the Russian gas was kept in secrecy because of election processes, Gabrielyan called it 'an interesting option,' which he does not believe in.
To recall, the Government of Armenia sold its 20% stake in ArmRusgasprom CJSC to Gazprom OJSC to redeem its $155 mln dept for 2012. Russia has undertaken part of the debt for the given year. Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisyan said that Armenia's debt for the Russian gas has reached nearly $300 million since 2011. The debt was accumulated, as the Government tried to soften the gas price for the population and economy of Armenia.