On December 31 the term of the agreement signed between Georgia and Russian Gazprom Export expired but the sides have not agreed on the new conditions yet, Novosti Georgia informed. The Georgian deputy minister of energy Mariam Valiashvili announced that the Georgian side returned from the last meeting on December 23 without an agreement. According to her, natural gas transit continues regularly but the Georgian side wants to achieve a maximum result through the conditions of the new contract.
Valiashvili said the maximum result may be achieved through monetization of the payment for transit or a return to the previous agreement.
Currently, Georgia receives 10% of the total volume of gas for transit of gas to Armenia via its territory.
Interestingly, on the first working day of 2017 Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan met with the ambassadors of Iran and Turkmenistan and discussed issues relating to cooperation in the sphere of energy.
On the one hand, Georgia and Russia cannot agree on the price of transit of Russian gas to Armenia. On the other hand, Armenia and Iran are negotiating energy cooperation.
It is possible that the earlier-declared swap option is being discussed which is the case of supply of Iranian gas to Armenia in the name of Gazprom, and Russia supplies gas to another buyer in the name of Iran. Turkmenistan may be this buyer which sells the greater part of its fuel to China.
One way or another, it has been 9 days Armenia receives gas without the prolonged contract, which may indicate that the pattern of supply of gas to the region may change fundamentally. No doubt Gazprom cannot allow Iran to supply gas to Armenia though this would have been the most logical option for Yerevan. Therefore, it is thinking of complicated schemes to make sure that Gazprom does not lose its profit, as high ranking Armenian officials said. They would rather Armenia and Georgia lost.
Will Yerevan support the complex scheme offered by Russia?