Depressing utility bills hit the nation. UPDATED

There’s sadness and troubled faces in Armenia’s banks, post-offices and around electronic payment terminals.
December was unusually cold and prices of gas and electricity have gone up this year. The situation is further compounded by the fact that families have spent most of their earnings for laying out the traditional New Year table, complete with glazed ham, turkey, dolma, a rich selection of alcohol and fruit.
I have a feeling that my face is strikingly pale after paying the $200 bill for electricity. And there are two more very cold months ahead.
What makes it worse is comparison of Armenian gas prices to the other member countries of the Customs Union, which Armenia is planning to join.

Residents of Russia pay $126 USD per 1000 cubic meters of gas; in Belarus, the cost is $84 per 1000 cubic meters of gas; in Kazakhstan, $69; and in Armenia, $380.
“As a result of Russian gas passing through the territory of Georgia, the gas price increases only by 10%, not more. In other words, all the calculations show that the objective price of gas sold to of a member of the Customs Union, that is, the population of Armenia, which forms part of the same area, cannot exceed $140–150, but now we are paying $380,” reports the paper.


PS: On a related note — here’s my wish for 2014: let the Armenian government, specifically the incumbent president Serzh Sarkissian, incompetent Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and energy minister Armen Movsisian to go to hell or wherever else they feel at home! And grab the oligarchs along the way. And Robert Kocharian ’cause he has suddenly decided to show his ugly face again.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant