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Why Is Russia Silent on Iran’s Gas Courtship of Armenia?

Armenia plans to up its natural gas imports from Iran. (Photo: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

Mystery is swirling around a deal to boost Iranian natural gas exports to Armenia: why does the Kremlin seem to be going along with the idea?

On March 19, Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian announced that Armenia plans to increase its imports of gas from neighboring Iran to 2 billion cubic meters per year, an increase of nearly 75 percent over the current annual volume. In exchange, Armenia would export electricity to Iran.

The announcement marked a sudden turnabout for Armenia: just late last year, officials in Yerevan rebuffed Iranian overtures concerning additional gas sales. Armenian leaders have not commented about what prompted them to change course. Further details are expected when the two countries’ intergovernmental commission meets this May, and if Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as announced, visits Armenia “soon.”

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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Yerevan and editor of MediaLab.am.

Why Is Russia Silent on Iran’s Gas Courtship of Armenia?

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