Agency WPS
The Russian Oil and Gas Report (Russia)
March 31, 2004, Wednesday

ARMENIA DOES NOT NEGOTIATE ON CONTINUATION OF IRAN-ARMENIA GAS
PIPELINE TOWARDS EUROPE


Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisyan reports that nobody has
conducted any negotiations on continuation of the Iran-Armenia gas
pipeline through Georgia and further through Ukraine to Europe with
Armenia. According to Movsisyan, Armenia does not set such task and
has not held any official negotiations. He adds that the relevant
negotiations on construction of the gas pipeline were held with Iran.
With regard to other countries Movsisyan stated that "Armenia is an
independent state and decides independently what and with whom it
needs to build and not a single country has tried to create obstacles
in this area."

According to the minister, many countries including Russia
demonstrated their interest in construction of the pipeline. Russia
is currently considering possible options and will make a decision
corresponding to its interests. A number of private companies
including the companies from China and Italy also demonstrate their
interest in the project.

Speaking about a possibility to extend the pipeline to Western
Europe, the minister remarks that he "could not have made such
irresponsible statements." He said that "Armenia is an honest partner
and tries to maintain mutually beneficial relations with everyone."
Movsisyan emphasizes that European Union has not allocated a single
kopeck for construction of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline and the
government of Armenia will find the money independently.