Gazprom wants control of Armenian markets

June 18, 2013 at 8:20 AM

MOSCOW, June 18 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said it was reviewing the prospects of taking over an energy company in Armenia.

Gazprom chief Alexei Miller hosted Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisyan at his headquarters in Moscow. Gazprom said it hosted the meeting to discuss further bilateral cooperation in the Armenian natural gas sector.

"The meeting also looked into the possibility of increasing Gazprom's stake in ArmRosgazprom to 100 percent," the company said in a Monday statement.

The company is currently a joint venture among Gazprom, the Armenian Energy Ministry and a private Russian holding company. It buys Russian natural gas from Gazprom at the border and distributes it to domestic markets.

Armenia is 100 percent dependent on foreign natural gas supplies to meet its energy demands. The European government is looking at natural gas from Armenia's eastern neighbor Azerbaijan to help break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector.

A BP-led group development of natural gas reserves off Azerbaijan is expected to choose between the Trans-Adriatic and Nabucco West pipelines to deliver natural gas to Europe.

Gazprom said last week it reached an agreement with the Republic of Srpska, a political entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina, for developing the South Stream natural gas pipeline, viewed as a rival to European pipeline plans for southern Europe.

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