Kocharian: Iran-Armenia gas pipeline will benefit Russia


RIA Novosti, Russia
May 21 2004

YEREVAN, May 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russian companies, which are seriously
represented in the Armenian energy system, will get dividends from
the construction of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline, President Robert
Kocharyan of Armenia said in an interview with the Public Television
of the republic.

In his words, one of the issues on the agenda of his May 13-15 talks
in Moscow was the construction of the above-mentioned pipeline. “It
is a highly interesting project that will benefit everyone, with
the exception of those who do not wish well to Armenia,” said the

Iran will provide gas in return for Armenian electricity, said Robert
Kocharyan. “Since Russian companies are seriously represented in
Armenia’s energy system – Gazprom and Itera own 55% of ArmRosgazprom
and RAO UES owns about 40% of Armenian generating capacities, they
will benefit, too. This means that they will get major dividends from
the deal,” said the head of state.

On the other hand, he stressed that this will not lead to a reduction
in Russian gas deliveries. Armenia will use Russian gas for domestic
consumption because Russian gas is cheaper. “Russia in the person of
its companies will benefit because the safety of the Armenian energy
system will increase tenfold: we will be able to ensure reliable
gas provision even in case of an accident at one of the pipelines,”
said Kocharyan.

Moscow has a negative attitude toward actions designed to weaken the
standing of Armenia, he believes. “The President of Russia is informed
sufficiently well about the internal political events in Armenia and
is concerned over them. He has expressed his unambiguous support for
me and the authorities of Armenia,” said the Armenian president.

According to him, Russia believes that Armenia, under weak authorities,
may succumb to outside influences. “This does not meet the interests
of our bilateral relations, since Armenia is a strategic partner
of Russia in the South Caucasus,” the president said. Consequently,
any actions that may create such problems are viewed “as a threat to
the development of bilateral relations.”

Robert Kocharyan said he had invited President Putin to visit
Yerevan. “The invitation was accepted and we are discussing the date
now,” he said.

The president of Armenia was the first head of state to visit Russia
after the May 7 inauguration of President Vladimir Putin, which, he
thinks, “points to the depth and warmth in Russo-Armenian relations.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS