YEREVAN — In an interview with the Czech magazine ‘Respect’ during his visit to the Prague, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan emphasized the importance of transparency regarding goods that are under sanctions imposed on Russia by the collective West. He mentioned that Armenia cooperates with the EU, US, and Russia itself in this regard, striving to maintain transparency.
Pashinyan highlighted that logistic chains of shipments have been disrupted or are not functioning properly since the Ukrainian conflict. As a result, many goods that were previously directly shipped to Russia are now being rerouted through Armenia, Kazakhstan, and other countries.
The Prime Minister provided an example of how the transportation of drinks, which are not subject to sanctions, has changed. Previously, they were shipped to Russia through Poland and Belarus, but now they are being sent through Armenia since the previous routes are no longer viable.
Pashinyan explained that the issue goes beyond simply changing routes. Most European freight forwarders are reluctant to directly cooperate with the Russian market, and Russian freight forwarders face challenges in delivering goods to Poland. Consequently, entirely new logistic routes, including those passing through Armenia, have been established.
As a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Armenia maintains close economic ties with Russia. Armenian businesses actively participate in programs established in recent times. Pashinyan emphasized that Armenia is willing to fulfill Russian demand and occupy vacant niches in the market. However, he made it clear to the Russians that sanctions are a red line for Armenia. While Armenia does not wish to harm Russia, it cannot afford to come under sanctions itself, and this position is openly communicated.
Overall, Pashinyan’s statements highlight Armenia’s efforts to navigate the challenges created by the sanctions on Russia, its close economic ties with Russia, and its commitment to transparency and avoiding potential repercussions.