While people in Armenia are trying to understand why their government (if it was the government) has decided to raise the electricity tariff, while the “civic activists” are debating whether to leave Baghramyan Avenue or not, while different provocateurs and “revolutionaries” are considering ways to steal their initiative, it is still unclear if the owner of the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) will be replaced or not. Over the last few days mass media in Armenia have accused the RUSSIAN company and its CEO Yevgeny Bibin of the whole bag of tricks. As a result, Bibin left the country “indefinitely,” with some people in social networks alleging that he was either a US or Israeli or even US-Israeli-Ukrainian citizen.
But who is the actual owner of the ENA? Almost all sources say that it is solely owned by Inter RAO. If you ask anybody in Armenia, who is Inter RAO, he will say that it is former RAO UES Russia. But if you open the company’s website, you will see that it is not a RUSSIAN company but a Transnational Energy Holding, with headquarters in Moscow. The way it is now, that company can hardly be called RUSSIAN. The Assets page says that Inter RAO manages the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant. As regards, the ENA, it is managed by some INTER ENERGO B.V.
So, it turns out that the ENA is owned not by the Russia Inter RAO but, probably, by the Dutch INTER RAO Holding B.V., a company that was RAO UES’s subsidiary before 2008. Finnish journalist Peeter Vahtra mentions some other company, MEC, who “worked” in Armenia “for RAO UES.” Today, when on the one hand, the Armenian authorities are going to audit the ENA for three-six months so as to see if the tariff should be raised or not and, on the other, are considering its future status (with President Sargsyan having even mentioned nationalization), all these nuances are quite significant – as are the questions who instructs Bibin what to do in Armenia and who is going to sell the ENA – Inter RAO, MEC, INTER RAO Holding B.V. or INTER ENERGO B.V. These questions are much more important than the questions if Bibin is a good manager or not and if it was his fault or he just tried to cover the faults of his predecessor Yevgeny Gladunchik.
In the meantime, on June 8 the Armenian government sold Vorotan Complex of HPPs to Contour Global Hidrocaskade and CG Solutions Global Holding. So, obviously Armenia is becoming an arena for an “energy war” between the United States and Russia. No coincidence that on Mar 9 US Ambassador Richard Mills told Armenian Energy Minister Yervan Zakharyan that energy is the only priority for the US in Armenia.
So, one more question is on whose side in this war the Armenian government is?