Armenia-Iran-Turkmenistan cooperation plan promising – expert

17:11 • 24.01.17



The trilateral cooperation plan to connect Armenia, Turkmenistan and Iran in the energy sector is strategically very promising, according to Armen Manvelyan, a senior researcher at the National Academy’s Institute of Oriental Studies.

 

“Energy cooperation is effective if it is multilateral. Such a cooperation helps diversify imports, opening a country’s transit route,” he told reporters on Tuesday, citing the successful cooperation experience with both countries since the 1990s.

 

The energy cooperation plan was agreed earlier this month as Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan received the Iranian and Turkmen ambassadors to discuss future joint projects.

 

Manvelyan also highlighted the Islamic Republic’s successful experience with Turkmenistan in joint energy projects. He added that Armenia too, could have its contribution to regional development by exporting the Iranian gas to Turkmenistan (which has a shortage of energy supplies).

 

Asked about possible obstacles, the expert cited economic and political reasons, as well as legal, technical and technological factors which he said need a proper consideration. “The key obstacle I would mention is the fact that this proposal for cooperation has not been legally formulate, as we do not yet have trilateral interstate agreements,” he explained.


The expert pointed out technical barriers. 

“It is because Armenia cannot import Iranian gas in great volume,” he said. 

Differences over the gas price between Iran and Turkmenistan, as well as major gas regional actors, could be a barrier as well. However, all the barriers can be surmounted.

Asked about Armenia being a preferable partner for Turkmenistan, Mr Manvelyan said that cooperating with any state is advisable for Turkmenistan as that state is seeking to end its isolation and import its energy carriers.

“They could view Armenia as a transit country for piping its gas to Georgia and father to the West. Therefore, Turkmenistan will seize any opportunity to establish energy cooperation. Turkmenistan-Iran-Turkey cooperation has been proposed as well, and an agreement has even been signed, which, however, is not in effect because of disagreements over the price. Turkmenistan is ready for cooperating with Armenia. So interests and format have to concur. Iran itself is interesting in establishing energy cooperation with its neighbors. And if we consider the situation in terms of Iran’s interests, Armenian-Iranian energy cooperation is much more successful than Armenia-Turkey cooperation,” Mr Manvelyan said. 

Such cooperation is an opportunity for Armenia to import gas at lower prices, he added. 

 

Hripsime Hovhannisyan





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