Russia’s economic grip over Armenia may be loosening ever so slightly, highlighted by Moscow’s diminishing role in the South Caucasus country’s power sector.
Russian gained control over Armenian power plants and the national gas distribution network as a result of controversial assets-for-debt agreements with the Armenian government in 2003-2006. These days, state-run Russian corporations supply the bulk of natural gas consumed by Armenians. Russian companies likewise own many of Armenia’s key energy assets, providing the Kremlin with lots of economic leverage over a country that it considers its closest ally in the Caucasus.
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Emil Danielyan is a freelance journalist based in Yerevan.