Armenia is the most gas-hungry country in the South Caucasus, and already is in a committed energy relationship with Russia. But many Armenians, tired of being taken for granted by the Kremlin, want their government to start flirting with another natural-gas suitor: Iran.
Just days after a December 2 visit to Armenia by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iran put out a feeler to Armenian officials about potential gas sales. So far, Yerevan hasn’t shown interest in talking.
In any event, Tehran could face some hard bargaining; Russia seems determined to maintain its dominant energy position in Armenia. Alexei Miller, the chief executive officer of Russian energy giant Gazprom, has stated that Armenia, as a member of Moscow’s planned Customs Union, could obtain gas at Russian “domestic prices.” Specifics about gas-pricing plans remain sketchy.
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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Yerevan and editor of MediaLab.am.