YEREVAN — The Armenian government has lifted a ban on imports of manufactured goods from Turkey which it initiated during the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The ban came into force on December 31, 2020 and was extended by six months in June. Yerevan described it as retaliation for Ankara’s “inflammatory calls,” arms supplies to Azerbaijan and “deployment of terrorist mercenaries to the conflict zone.”
The Armenian Ministry of Economy told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on December 13 that it will likely recommend another six-month extension to the government. However, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s cabinet has adopted no such decisions since then. The cabinet held its last session of the year on Thursday.
In a statement issued later in the day, the Ministry of Economy confirmed that the embargo will no longer be in force starting from January 1. The ministry said this is the result of “interagency discussions” held in recent weeks.
Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan hinted at the impending lifting of the ban when he spoke with journalists on Tuesday. “Political motives will be the overriding ones,” he said.
According to the ministry, the ban has had both positive and negative consequences over the past year.
‘The ban has prompted the emergence of new companies and expansion of productions by existing light industry companies, as well as by companies engaged in production of construction materials, furniture and agriculture,’ according to the Facebook post.
‘However, the main negative impact of the embargo was a significant inflation rise, which affected heavily the consumer goods. We have received also many appeals and requests from our businessmen to lift the ban,” the ministry said.