by Ashot Safaryan
The opponents of the gas deal with Russia do not want to face the truth. They only try to denigrate everything done by the authorities of Armenia, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan said when replying the questions of the participants in the congress of Yerkrapah Union of Volunteers held in Yerevan today.
He thinks that the relatively low price of the Russian gas for the Armenian consumers is an achievement of the talks held on 2 December 2013 when the gas agreement was signed. He said that this price is linked with that at the Russian local market.
As for $300 million debt which arose in 2011, it is the result of the fact that the gas price has not grown since 2011, he said. "Since 2011 I have reiterated that the gas price will not grow for ordinary citizens, but this does not at all mean that the price did not grow at all. We were simply doing everything possible for our citizens not to feel this burden. Moreover, for three years we were conducting long and difficult negotiations with the Russian party on this matter", - Sargsyan said and added that theoretically they could not negotiate, but in that case ordinary citizens would be forced to pay those $300 million.
When commenting of sale of 20% shares of the government in the "ArmRusgasprom" to the Russian party for a low price, Sargsyan said that there was no guarantee that if they held a tender, the shares would be sold, for instance, for $30 million. "I assure you, that if today there is somebody who wants to buy these 20% of shares for $100 million, I am ready to annul the agreement with the Russian party and sell our share for the above-mentioned cost. As for our opponents, I advice them to negotiate with Russia and gain more beneficial conditions of the Russian gas purchase", - the president said.
Asked why the gas agreement was signed for 30 years, Sargsyan replied that the agreement for 30 years foresees making investments. "What i funds in 5 or 30 years?", - the president asked.