Gazprom to Take Over Iran-Armenia Pipeline

The deal will give Russia's state-run gas company, Gazprom, complete control over Armenia's domestic distribution and, now, all import infrastructure
The deal will give Russia's state-run gas company, Gazprom, complete control over Armenia's domestic distribution and, now, all import infrastructure

The deal will give Russia’s state-run gas company, Gazprom, complete control over Armenia’s domestic distribution and, now, all import infrastructure


Giving away perhaps the last opportunity for energy independence, Armenia plans to sell its 41-kilometer-long section of an Iranian natural-gas export pipeline to Russian energy leviathan, Gazprom. The decision leaves Moscow in full control of natural-gas supply routes to Armenia.

Armenia Energy Minister Ara Simonian assured Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, however, that the terms of a state license will not allow Gazprom Armenia to mess with imports from Iran.

Those imports, though, are just a quarter of the annual 2 billion cubic meters Armenia receives from Russia, its economic and security patron.

Originally, many observers abroad and in Armenia alike had hoped that the Iranian-Armenia pipeline, completed in 2008, would wean Armenia off energy dependence on Russia.

Moscow is believed to use its position as Armenia’s economic, energy and security patron to ensure the country’s fealty – a situation that does not necessarily make it tolerant toward market-competitors.

Moscow first tried to set a limit to the Iranian-Armenian pipeline’s diameter and, hence, its supply capacity. Then, Gazprom muscled its way into taking over domestic distribution and, now, all import infrastructure.

Commenting on the takeover of the Iranian pipeline, Gazprom Armenia, Gazprom’s local distribution monopoly, said that it only made business sense to let one company operate the country’s supply-and-distribution infrastructure.

The company’s spokesperson told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that a “tentative agreement” on such a handover has existed since 2007. A $30-million “prepayment” already has been made, she said.

Ironically, a year ago, reported, Yerevan indicated it intended to increase its Iranian imports to 2 bcm.

At the time, Moscow had remained strangely silent.

Now, it seems, the reason why is plain.


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  1. Armenian said:

    Goodbye to anything that once resembled statehood.

    It’s amazing how much the xoroshis at the HHK were able to destroy the country in such a short period of time. Bravo.

  2. Avetis said:

    We need to sober up and understand that right now the stakes in the region are too high. It wouldn’t be stretch of the imagination to say that Russia and the West are on the verge of a war. For Russia, natural gas production and distribution – especially to Europe – is as important as their nuclear deterrence. Gas supplies to foreign nations has been Moscow’s most effective strategic weapon in recent years. I therefore do not expect them to change their approach to “pipeline politics” for Armenia’s sake. Genocide recognition for Armenia’s sake is one thing, this is a whole different ball game. With that said, had Armenia been a powerful and wealthy nation – or perhaps a nation less inclined to flirt with Western powers – we might have expected Russians to allow us more control over such matters. But Armenia is not powerful, not wealthy and in the eyes of Russians – official Yerevan is not very reliable. The best we can expect at this juncture is for Yerevan to at least negotiate a good transit fee or some other benefit for the country. Anyway, the following article is quite revealing of the serious concerns Russians have towards Yerevan’s “complimentary politics” –

    US Trying to Pry Armenia out of Russia’s Orbit:

  3. Ara said:

    Is there anything left, which is not sold to Russia? Armenia i not even a Banana republic – it is even worse than that!