More Bad Gas Reaction: Opposition MPs accuse government of “slap in the face”

While active discussions continue over the price of natural gas prior to the holiday season, during the parliament hearings this week on this issue the Minister of Economy and Natural Resources re-affirmed that there won’t be any increase in tariffs.

The government of Armenia has submitted to the parliament the documents signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit for ratification: agreements on “Cooperation between the governments of Armenia and Russia on supply of natural, gas, oil and rough diamonds” and “Between governments of Armenia and Russia on terms of sale-purchase of ArmRosGasProm CJSC stock and of its further operation”.

However, the oppositional faction members criticizing the current authorities have stated:

“Because the government has led an ineffective, wrong policy, it is commonly obliged to resign. Will you?” said Prosperous Armenia Party MP Vahan Babayan addressing minister Armen Movsisyan. To which the response was: “I believe it has been productive, hence I am not resigning.”

Armenian National Congress faction leader Levon Zurabyan termed the government’s actions as “criminal”, because in 2011-2013 Russians raised the gas price twice, while they (the government) knew nothing about it.

“And now you were forced to sell the 20 percent of shares which were public property, meaning numerous violations of a number of laws. Could you explain how we can tolerate this criminal government? Up until now the government has not turned to the parliament related to the gas issue, and today it has submitted agreements,” said Zurabyan.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit earlier this month, the last remaining 20 percent of ArmRosGasProm CJSC shares were given to Gazprom as a payback to the debt accumulated since 2011 totaling to $300 million.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Arzumanyan in reference to the agreement on sale-purchase of the shares said he had never during his entire career come across such a unilateral dictate as that document.

“That agreement completely restricts the rights of one of the parties and contradicts our Constitution by a number of provisions and totally serves the interests of the other party. Such agreements are commonly called ‘act on capitulation’,” said Arzumanyan, calling the action a “slap in the face” to the National Assembly.

According to him, the government of Armenia has taken up a liability and guaranteed that by 2043 no law, normative or legal act can be adopted to annul this agreement. He believes the part in the agreement is absurd, where it says that in case of tuning to the arbitrage court a court session will be held in Stockholm and the working language would be Russian.

“It is a shame, I cannot believe that our parliament would agree to something like this. The Constitutional Court would have to be liquidated should it approve of this,” he says.