by Marianna Mkrtchyan
An action of protest against increase in the gas tariffs has got underway in front of the Government building.
According to ArmInfo's correspondent on the spot, several dozens of people are picketing the government building chanting "Thieves!" "Murderers!" Among them is filmmaker Artak Zakaryan, who claims that the people have been robbed twice when the gas tariff was increased groundlessly and its caloric value was reduced.
The filmmaker slums the government for accumulating $300 million debts due to their wrongful actions and making the people to repay for it through increasing the gas tariff.
The picketers demand explanations. They are discontented at the fact that Armenia imports gas for $189 per 1000 cu m while consumers have to pay $393 for it.
They demand explanations from the former prime minister Tigran Sargsyan and acting energy minister Armen Movsisyan.
To recall, the Armenian Government's last 20% share in ArmRusgasprom was sold to Russia's Gazprom in the course of Vladimir Putin's visit to Armenia on 2 December. Actually, ArmRusgasprom is now Gazprom's subsidiary. The deal allowed Gazprom to deliver gas to Armenia on the internal Russia tariffs i.e. for $189 per 1000 cu m on the border. The Government of Russia comes out as a guarantor of gas supply to Armenia by Gazprom OJSC to satisfy the country's need for gas subject to timely payment for the imported gas. According to the agreement, in 2014-2018 Armenia will receive 2.5bln c m a year against 1.7bln c m in 2012.
Earlier on 7 July 2013 Russia increased gas tariff for Armenia from 180 to 270 US dollars per 1000 cu m. Afterwards the regulator increased the gas tariff for consumers.