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 president.
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."