March 21
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YEREVAN. – Russia has already made a political decision to increase the natural gas tariff for Armenia at the end of the year, when the gas contract with Armenia will conclude, according to Hraparak (Square) newspaper.  

“One of the Russian analysts told us: ‘So that this step of Russia will not be interpreted as unfriendly toward its EAEU [(Eurasian Economic Union)] partner Armenia, Russia will increase the gas price for Belarus as well. [But,] subsequently, it will be lowered for Belarus—with retrospective schemes, whereas it will remain the same for Armenia because here it’s not that they [Moscow] no longer trust Armenia’s new authorities, but they are bewildered in connection with several matters, about which they are not afraid to inform the high-level guests who have arrived to Russia from Armenia.

“Those in Armenia should not forget and not be inspired by Georgia’s example. The West didn’t give especially grants, [but] it gave loans to Georgia. And today, Georgia’s external debt—unlike Armenia’s [$]7 billion—is [$]14 billion. Today, Georgia is without Ossetia and Abkhazia. And the country’s real leader, [ex-Prime Minister and tycoon Bidzina] Ivanishvili, is the owner of 6 percent of [Russia’s] Gazprom [company]; it means that he is a Russian ‘boy,’” Hraparak wrote.

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