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Is Russia Choosing Between Armenia And Azerbaijan?

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  • Is Russia Choosing Between Armenia And Azerbaijan?


    Naira Hayrumyan, Political Commentator
    Comments - Monday, 17 February 2014, 17:45

    In an interview with the Kommersant, the Iranian ambassador to Russia
    Mehdi Sanahi said Iran and Russia have almost agreed selling Iranian
    oil to Russia, about half a million barrel a day. Russia has offered
    several lines for transportation which are under consideration.

    A few days earlier the Iranian ambassador to Armenia Mohammad Reisi
    met with Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan. The official press release
    states that energy and transit-related issues were discussed.

    The two sides have possibly minimized their transit so far. Iranian
    gas is supplied to Armenia in return for which Armenian electricity
    is supplied to Iran. In terms of transit, only the Armenian highways
    are used to travel from Iran to Georgia via Armenia.

    Do the Russian proposals involve a pipeline across Armenian for
    the Iranian oil? Recently, according to the Iranian mass media, the
    Russian ambassador to Iran has stated that the pipeline may run across
    Azerbaijan, connecting the Iranian Astara with the Azerbaijani Astara.

    Addressing the congress of Yerkrapah Union of Volunteers on Saturday,
    Serzh Sargsyan refrained from foreign political issues. He only
    announced that joining the Customs union is economically better for
    Armenia for which a market of 200 million people opens up. Sargsyan
    said we were able to sell 20% of shares of ARG to Russia for 150
    million dollars which, in fact, cost cheaper.

    What did those 20% bring to us? Serzh Sargsyan asked, noting that if
    we want to control something, we need good legislation for that.

    The legislation is certainly good. However, we have committed not to
    adopt legislation that will be against Gazprom's interests for 30
    years. And the deal signed with Russia actually prohibits transit
    through Armenia. It is interesting whether there is a similar deal
    on oil.

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