Miller Has Arrived After American 8 Billion Dollars
Miller, the president of Gazprom, is visiting Armenia. On the other hand, it is a question whether he is a guest or he has come home, considering the notorious agreement with Gazprom. Why has Miller come to Armenia? He has met with his Karen Karapetyan and Serzh Sargsyan. Issues relating to Gazprom’s activities, including both gas supply and social responsibility were discussed. For example, Serzh Sargsyan announced that Gazprom has a big role in the dynamic development of the Armenian-Russian relations.
Gazprom’s role is big indeed. Even in Russia is Gazprom’s role bigg but the problem is that even Russia has declared Gazprom a threat. And a few weeks ago Putin signed Russia’s economic security strategy which states that the development of green technology and change in the structure of the international energy market is seen as an economic threat to Russia.
The Russian economy is actually the oil and gas. Oil and gas are the drivers of the global economy, even in this era of technology. The development of the so-called alternative technology is fast but it is far from the volume that will essentially decrease the demand for gas and oil.
In this case, the problem is that tangible transformation is underway in the so-called traditional and rich markets of gas, such as the EU which is looking for an alternative to the Russian gas and is not far from getting over dependence considerably. Russia tried to sign a good deal with China but Beijing did not live up to the expectations and the Siberian force project remains on paper.
Sooner or later Russia will face the vital need for modernization to avoid a disaster. Here, aside from the economic issue, there is a political issue for Gazprom. Gazprom is not just a gas giant but an important political factor which has practically dictated politics for years.
Recently Rosneft rose as a serious competitor for Gazprom. However, the competition between the two oil and gas giants will be mixed with Russia’s economic challenge which will leave its trace on political decision makers.
Both Gazprom and Rosneft will have to open up to remain viable. They will have to open up to the world. There is no alternative: they will either open up or die. It is a perspective measured in years or maybe decades but it is going to approach very fast and it needs to be reckoned on now.
What does Armenia have to do with this? In Armenia both Gazprom and Rosneft are perceived as Russian oil and gas superintendent which is the main instrument to influence Armenia. Armenia itself has little economic importance to them. A 3 million market is not something bad but its being or not being is nothing compared to the issues which the Russian giants are going to have in the visible future, including political ones.
If they lose the big competition, being in Armenia will not save them if they are able to stand until the end.
Instead Armenia can save them or they can save themselves through Armenia. This seems difficult to imagine. However, Armenia can be a pipe for opening up to the world, a platform, an area of compromise with the civilized, developing world.
The U.S. Ambassador in Armenia has announced about the possibility of investing 8 billion dollars in alternative energy. Interestingly, Miller’s visit is happening in this setting. The prospect of investments at 8 billion dollars means complete neutralization of Gazprom’s influence. It seems that Gazprom’s issue should be stopping the prospect from coming true in every possible way.
However, this is true when we look at the problem in terms of Armenia, such as political influence. There is no doubt that in the nearest future Gazprom is mentioned in Russia’s economic security strategy as a threat emanating from the development of alternative technologies and change of the market structure.
Gazprom, Russia is unable to prevent that threat. Armenia can but solving that issue in a small area will not insure against death. Hence, the value of the problem is increasing. Hence, it is possible that Gazprom will view the prospect of Armenia to be partners with the American technological investments in the form of transformation of its presence in Amenia which may trigger a bigger transformation of the giant. The point is that this transformation is impossible without the help of the western technology and it is going to be inevitable for Gazprom to find the line or point of contact.
Theoretically, Armenia can be viewed as such. The American side would hardly be against. They may not know the Soviet film: he who hinders us will help us.