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Armenia facing natural gas price increases

YEREVAN, Armenia, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Moscow is likely to raise the price that Armenia pays for natural gas in 2011, the Armenian prime minister said.

Russia raised the price of natural gas by 14 percent last year and an additional 17 percent in April to $180 per thousand cubic meters for Armenia. Russian gas monopoly Gazprom charges many of its customers in Europe as much as $308 per thousand cubic meters.

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Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that his country expected an additional price increase in 2011.

"We always keep this issue at the center of our attention," he said.

Gazprom Deputy Chairman Andrei Kruglov said last week that Eastern European countries like Armenia could see gas prices move closer to the market conditions established for many of Gazprom's customers.

Armenia gets most of its gas from Russia. Iran ships some of its natural gas north to Armenia, though much of that is converted to electricity and sent back to Iran.

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