Armenian News Network / Groong
The former head of the Russian presidential administration, Aleksandre Voloshin, who at present occupies the post of president of the RAO UES [Russia's power grid monopoly Unified Energy System] board of directors, is visiting Armenia. He met President Robert Kocharian yesterday [30 November]. We got information from the press service of the Armenian president that Kocharian and Voloshin discussed Armenian-Russian cooperation in the energy sphere and in particular they touched on the programmes implemented by the RAO UES in Armenia.
It has become known from trustworthy sources that Voloshin has come to clarify finally the details of buying the Armenian energy network company. It became clear that the RAO UES wanted to buy the Armenian energy network in November, when the vice-president of the RAO UES, Andrey Rapoport, held negotiations with the management of Midland Resources Holding, which is the owner of the Armenian energy network. That time it was clear that the bargain would fail because from the very beginning the World Bank was against giving the Armenian energy network to the Russian company. When selling the network to the Midland Resources Holding, the Armenian government signed a contract with that company, in accordance with which the company needs the consent of the Armenian government to sell the network to a third party. If the Armenian authorities consent to sell the network to Russia, they will have problems with the World Bank.
According to our information, to avoid this possible conflict the Armenian authorities have persuaded the RAO UES to buy not the Armenian energy network but Midland Resources Holding which is the owner of the network. In case of striking such a deal, there is no need to get the consent of the Armenian government, and the world community cannot blame Armenia for giving Armenia's last energy fortresses to Russia. Incidentally, after making this bargain only two non-Russian facilities will remain in the energy sphere of Armenia: the Vorotan cascade and the Yerevan power plant.
PS. We received information late in the evening yesterday that Voloshin also met the director-general of the Armenian energy network, Yevgeniy Gladunchik.