Armenia’s acting premier says he discussed bilateral ties, gas at meeting with Putin

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YEEREVAN, December 28. /TASS/. Armenia’s acting prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, said he discussed the strategy of bilateral relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their talks in Moscow on December 27.

The Armenian premier’s visit to Russia and meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 27 was the first since his bloc won presidential elections in Armenia on December 9. Pashinyan’s bloc will control 88 out 132 seats in the country’s parliament.

“Our talks concerned the strategy of our further relations. I would like to stress that we have total understanding on the matter. This meeting was to sum up the results of our previous conversations. The talks were held in a very positive atmosphere,” Pashinyan said in a live broadcast on his Facebook page.

“Armenia and Russia have special relations, which are of strategic nature,” Pashinyan added.

Gas issue

Pashinyan said after his visit to Moscow that he hoped to eventually reach consensus with Moscow on the price of Russian gas.

“I would like to inform that no final decision has been made regarding the price for Russian gas. Nevertheless, I’m optimistic and I hope that we achieve the intended result, or, at least, avoid the negative scenario,” Pashinyan said in a live broadcast on his Facebook page.

Pashinyan added that the issue of gas remains “very sensitive for bilateral relations.”

Armenia’s authorities have repeatedly said that they were negotiating a reduction of prices for natural gas with the Russian side. Natural gas is supplied to Armenia by Gazprom’s subsidiary Gazprom Armenia.

In early 2016, Armenia asked Russia to reduce the gas price from $165 to $150 per 1,000 cubic meters. This year, Armenia purchased Russian gas at this price and charged consumers nearly twice as much – $290 per 1,000 cubic meters.

Russian gas deliveries to the country stood at 1.87 billion cubic meters in 2016, and at 2 billion cubic meters in 2017.

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